As many of you know I’ve recently been on holiday to Tuscany, in Italy near the Chianti hills. The good news is they’ve had a hot dry spring so the grapes will be small with lots of sugar & flavour, so the wine will be very good this year! It’s a place we’ve been enough times to not feel the need to rush around and see all the sights.
It was wonderful to withdraw from the busy-ness of every day life, to sit in a garden, where the weeds were someone else’s problem, and read mainly novels and a couple of lighter theological books. to spend the twilight listening for toads, and watching over the fence for wild boar (and being granted glimpses twice) and spotting fire flies among the vines, and on one evening being treated to the sights of an electrical storm over the mountains in the distance. It was a chance to explore and enjoy more of the wonders of God’s creation, and in the restaurants to “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Taking time out is important for all of us. It’s so important that the creation story tells us that even God rested on the seventh day, and throughout the gospel there are many references to Jesus withdrawing from the crowds to pray, and to recuperate.
This summer, even if you can’t get away from home, make it a priority to spend some time relaxing – enjoying a good read, films, music or our beautiful surroundings. Don’t just feed the birds, make time to watch them, and observe their beauty. And give thanks to God for the wonder of it all.