Sunday Rest?

Just because Mrs. E. is on what she refers to as “welfare”, i.e. being paid whilst on summer break, and I’m working from home most days doesn’t mean that we’re lolling about in our pyjamas eating bon-bons. Our children make sure that we get up early enough and our friends make sure that we stay up late enough that I feel as if we are in a state of perpetual motion.

Sunday afforded me a bit of relief, not the entire day mind you (Mrs. E. has projects which need tending to), to reflect on the tradition of the “day of rest.” I’m envious of at least two “traditional” ways to spend a quiet Sunday.

I don’t subscribe to a paper anymore, but I have fallen behind on my magazine reading. Yesterday I had a chance to lie on the couch in the bar, Bill Evans playing on Pandora, and read the latest issue of Garden & Gun cover to cover. Most enjoyable. The Rector of my church spends every Father’s Day (it’s his gift from his wife and children) reading the New York Times Sunday Edition, cover to cover. Reading first thing is a very leisurely way to start a morning. Especially if there is no television blaring somewhere in the background. I’m going to try to do more of it.

I didn’t grow up this way. Well, the odd Thanksgiving or Easter if we were back in the States. Most of the time, it was just the three of us gathered around the table. By the time I was in high school, the small TV was tuned to the nightly news and we ate at the oak drop leaf in the kitchen. Now, with children of my own, I do prefer the idea of the Sunday Supper. An early evening meal with all the trimmings sounds really appealing. Not that my children eat much of anything — their diet is appallingly one-dimensional — and their conversation lately centers around “Angry Birds”, thanks to a recent encounter with a distant cousin. But that relatively quiet gathering has something that is lacking in the “constantly on” lives that we lead.

Sure Rockwell is painting an ideal, but I don’t think it was that far from the truth. At least during his lifetime.

Do you have any calming Sunday traditions? Or has the day of rest become one more free day to get things done before the start of the work week?

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