Listening to David Tolk’s gorgeous album Grace this afternoon (a collection of hymns without lyrics, performed lightly with piano and ensemble) as the sun begins to shine again outside my window. The sublime song Be Still My Soul (you can listen to this on Spotify – if you create a user profile on Spotify and select Spotify Open then it will cost you nothing and you can listen to free music legally for many hours each week) has been played more than the rest recently, as my days of ‘holiday rest’ come to a close, and I begin to face the reality of college life once more.
I’ve loved my time off.
On several occasions I resisted the temptation to set my alarm and rose after many minutes of being awake but refusing to let go of the comfy covers for that little while longer, getting up at 10:30, and those who know me well will know I never do that. Not that 10:30 is particularly late… but I’ve always been an early riser. Yet I can feel the benefit of those extra hours and do not regret it.
I’ve done a lot of reading, a fair lot of writing, a heck of a lot of music discovery, and as well as a few meditative exercises I’ve strolled in the sunlight with strangers through foreign villages and drank tea with Buddhists. I’ve had lunch with old friends, and lunch with new ones. I began the job I will probably now keep until the time comes for me to move away, and I’ve dreamt of future possibilities and pondered over important choices I must soon make.
One thing I’ve not done is college studying. But I’m glad. I needed this break. And now as I (slightly unwillingly) draw closer to returning to my routine and juggling work, study and social visits, I know that, listening to David Tolk, even though I won’t have my ‘holiday rest’ anymore, I’ll still be able to find ‘normal rest’ in other places.
It’s been a good week. And now I can return to the everyday schedule of my life stronger and refreshed. I’ll still be listening to David Tolk in the coming months, and I’ll still stop every now and then and listen, ask, pray, Be Still My Soul…
Be still, my soul; the Lord is at your side;
bear patiently the cross of grief and pain;
leave to your God to order and provide;
in ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly friend,
through thorny ways, leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: your God will undertake
to guide the future as he has the past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake,
all now mysterious shall be clear at last.
Be still, my soul: the tempests still obey
his voice, who ruled them once on Galilee.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
when we shall be for ever with the Lord,
when disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
sorrow forgotten, love’s pure joy restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.