Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Caryll Houselander's metaphor of a baby's peaceful rest...

In the Meditation of the Day in today's Magnificat there is a wonderful quote from Caryll Houselander.

She is speaking of "Proper Sabbath Rest" saying that "Rest...is a culmination...of gathered peace, like the fullness and stillness of waters gathered to a flood tide."  She goes on.
Think of a child asleep in his mother's arms: the abandon with which he gives himself to sleep can only be because he has complete trust in the arms that hold him.  He is not lying asleep on that heart because he is worn out with anxiety.  He is asleep there because it is a delight to him to be asleep there.  The mother rests, too.  She rests in his rest.  Her mind and her body rest in him.  His head fits into the crook of her curved arm.  Their warmth is mingled like the warmth of two softly burning flames.  She rocks to and fro, and her rocking is unconsciously timed by his breathing.  Rest is a communion of love between them.  It is a culmination of content: on the the child's part, utter trust in his mother; on the mother's part, sheer joy in the power of her love to sustain his life.
Isn't this passage a delightful description of what is happening when a mother rocks her baby to sleep?  My children are all grown now but memories of rocking or singing my children to sleep remain as some of the most precious moments of my life.

I am so very grateful to have had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mother.  Not everyone is so blessed. The thousands of hours I had to play with my children, to pray with them, to teach them, to help them to sleep and to love them in so many ways will always be among my most satisfying life memories.

Today I heard someone describe herself, a little embarrassed, as a Leave-It-To-Beaver mother.  (For you young people reading this, Leave it to Beaver was a television show depicting a traditional family.)  Yes, I have been a Leave-It-To-Beaver mother too, for some 30 years now.  And I would not have had it any other way.

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