Recently, I have been savoring the book In the Sanctuary of Women by Jan Richardson. If you do not know her work, please visit her website. You will not be disappointed!
During my time away in Wisconsin, I spent several snowy evenings sitting in a comfy chair, watching the sun set, and reading my way through this book. In this time of quiet discernment, I focused on the chapter she writes about Harriett Powers, an African-America slave, folk artist and quilt maker. The theme of this chapter focused on the artist within and the connection between our creative selves and our faith journeys. [You can learn more about Mrs. Powers and her famous Bible quilts here.]
There are times in my life when God finds me through the written word, and I must say, God was spot on with this chapter. Thankfully, Ms. Richardson took the time to capture these spiritual lessons in her book, and for that time and commitment, I am grateful.
One phrase that has settled into my soul is “the long way around,” or as we Southerners might say, “the long way ’round.” “The long way ’round” is the time it takes to accomplish a task without the help of technology or shortcuts. It affords us the opportunity to just be in the moment of the artistry or the skill or the journey. It encourages our bodies, minds, and spirits to slow down and focus on the process, not the product.
When I read those words, my heart cheered, “Yes!” It seems that my homesteading, my gardening, and my desire to live minimally and sustainably can all be summed up by this phrase. I want to live the long way ’round.
Now that I have returned to my hometown after two weeks away, however, it seems as if the “long way ’round” has taken a back to seat to “playing catch up” and “welcome back to reality.” While “the long way ’round” competes for my attention, I honor the stability and peace she brings to my spirit and do not deny her my time.
Even in the midst of life, it is possible to invite “the long way ’round” in, hug her, love on her and invite her to stay awhile. My preferred time is in the evening as my daughter retreats to her new room downstairs, and my kitchen table invites me to enjoy the quiet with her. Even if but for 10 minutes, as I practice a new hobby, write a new blog post or sew a couple of cozy caps, I am regaining a sense of balance and reconnecting with my Creator within. What a gift~