“It is the soul’s duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.” -Rebecca West
This past week was the first time in many years, outside of a few occassions of convalescence, that we have enjoyed so much quiet, uninterrupted time with Jessica. (Although my husband might passionately argue that very much of our time was quiet, ha!)
It was luscious in every way. She and Bean went home today, and the farm is so quiet. We already miss them very much.
Of our many exceptionally deep and fascinating conversations, one that has been echoing in my heart was about how humans are designed to crave beauty, how it is a natural appetite and a healthy inclination. We measured it against passion-gifts, too, like art and science, cooking and gardening and nesting, against caring for ourselves as women, and travel and the craving to explore this big world, and much more. We agreed that a hunger for beauty and a drive to pursue our unique passions can lead us down the best paths, if we watch our motivations.
My daily devotional entry from July 20th says, “Seek my face and you will find all that you have longed for. The deepest yearnings of your heart are for intimacy with me. Do not be afraid to be different from other people. The path I have called you to travel is exquisitely right for you.” (Jesus Calling)
This past week I was able to see the farm, and our home, through Jessica’s eyes a bit more deeply. A bare bones routine became soothing, not boring. I watched her slowly unwind and shed a landslide of stress from her body and spirit. She soaked up every day, morning till night, and every meal and activity we laid hold of, with a joyful kind of mindfulness that really inspired me. She allowed beauty and pleasure to overtake her, and more than ever she reflected and magnified all kinds of beauty, just by being herself, natural and free and untethered for a while. It was like watching overstressed plant rehydrate, turn emerald green, and bloom before your eyes.
Her health and happiness, and Jocelyn’s, is everything to us. This well timed investment of time and rest was so wise on Jess’ part, and I know that she was engaged enough in the retreat process to retain the feelings, to translate the efforts to her daily life and normal routine, in ways that only she can do.
I would like to chat more extensively about the pursuit of beauty in life, in the world at large. About how the deepest purpose in our various callings, is maybe to reflect Love? Soon, I hope. I am sleepy now and can feel my thoughts unraveling a bit. Thank you, friends, for the love you send our girls.