About 15 years ago I was anticipating a flight home from Paris, and I went to get some food for the long flight. It was my birthday as well so I needed a little chocolate something. It was 7:30 in the morning and there I was in the middle of Paris headed for my favorite bakery. I looked around and saw a few people. But few would be the operative word. Mostly I saw the street cleaners out and occasionally a waiter arriving to a cafe. I was in awe. In Washington, DC where I was living at the time, 7:30 is a very busy time. Some people might even be late for work if they arrived at 7:30. Or they might have just finished at the gym or with yoga.
It was obvious to me from this moment that we make up these notions with time and what we will do with it. The French wouldn’t consider such an early start given an opportunity. I remember that it made such an impact on me that I stopped coming in at 8 AM. Additionally to do all my meditative and prayer practices my day began before 6 AM.
Over the decades I slide back to my workhorse habits and can readily begin early and get up even earlier. But I’m here to say that these few vacation days have reminded me that we make up these ideas about time. I’ve luxuriated in staying in bed until 7:30 every day. And I feel rested in a way that even my most favorite thing Qigong couldn’t manage. We all need that quiet rest time where the demands are few and the communion with the inner expansiveness is all that happens.
So take some of this Winter season when it is the time to be quiet and still to properly rest and find that heightened sense of your own self in the process.