Home > Poetry, spiritual formation, Spirituality > Sabbath in Late Fall

Sabbath in Late Fall

November 8, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Just received this soul-touching poem by Ruth Barton. Her books, Silence and Solitude and Sacred Rhythms are extremely powerful books that I think every Christian should read. You can look more at her ministry at the Transforming Center

Sabbath in Late Fall

Ruth Haley Barton

For everything there is a season…

Sometimes on the Sabbath
all you can do is
settle into the soft body of yourself
and listen to what it says.

Listen to
the exhaustion that is deeper than tiredness
the hunger that is for more than food
the thirst that is for more than drink
the longing for comfort that is more than physical.

On the Sabbath
body and soul reach out for time of a different sort
time that is full of space rather than activity.
time to watch the burning bush in your own back yard…
the movement of the wind among bare branches…
the last leaf that clings to the branch
before its final letting go.

Letting go is hard,
letting go of that which no longer works
that which no longer brings joy and meaning
that which is no longer full of life.

It seems cruel
That something that used to be so beautiful
should fall to the ground
sinking into the earthy mud along with everything else that is dying,
no longer recognizable for what it used to be.
It seems cruel but it is the way of things.

One generation gives its life for the next.
One season slips away so another can come.
One crop of fruit falls from the tree so that more can be borne.
One wave recedes while another gathers strength
to crash upon the shore.

It seems cruel
but it is the rhythm of things

And rhythm has its own beauty.

©Ruth Haley Barton, 2006.
Not to be reproduced without the express permission of the author
or the
Transforming Center.

  1. Wayne Cone
    November 13, 2007 at 10:51 am

    Glad yu saw her email. When I read it last week I thought of you. Leaving n Wednesday for a day retreat at a center north of Tomball. Will write you about the time.

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