“I’m sick of Google Maps,” I said with frustration. My calm partner, driving the truck pulling our travel trailer, looked quizzically at me. “Just once, I’d like to know where something is without having to look it up,” I whined. We’d been on the road for 4 weeks. Newness every day. Wonderful and exhausting. I needed to rest.
When to stop and how to rest is a question I have wrestled with most of my life
Along our 2,600 miles of travel, we’ve experienced a wide diversity of rest area stops. They differ in how they are spaced, what they look like, and what they offer.
Here’s one from Idaho. Up front and center are “rules.”
The last thing I want to see when it’s time to rest are rules telling me how to do it. Most often the “voice” of rules comes from inside me, nudging me that I’m resting too long; there is work to be done.
Rest areas, particularly when you newly enter a state, often have flags on display. Proclaiming identity. You have entered “this” place which is different from “other places.”
When I truly enter a state of rest within myself, it is radically different from my daily life. How radically would my life change if I entered that “state” more often?
Rest areas often honor people who have inspired others.
When I create quiet time and reflect on those who have inspired me, it strengthens my soul.
Sometime, rest areas provide warnings and give you resources to get help.
Resting allows me the space to more clearly see what is coercive and threatening to my well being and encourages me to take some bold steps for change.
Rest areas are sources of learning whether about history or when the National Banana Pudding Festival is happening.
I learn the most in my resting when I allow the silence and time to expand, even when it starts to feel a bit uncomfortable. I’m so used to “doing” that simply “being” often feels unnatural. That, in itself is revelatory. If I am willing to persist in holding the space, surprising insights come.
Some rest stops are very minimal, but, so very needed that frills are not necessary. Texas, however, wins the award thus far for an extravagant rest area. Perhaps because it also doubles as a tornado shelter. Perhaps, because Texas celebrates bigness for resting.
Even in the midst of grandeur, there are some reality checks.
I’m learning to do a reality check more frequently on when it is time to rest. To listen better to my body and its wisdom.
There is a story about an American visiting Africa who questions the guides when they insist on stopping after a few days of travel. “We have traveled very fast and must allow time for our souls to catch up with our bodies,” they said. In essence, that is the way we should take life seriously.
May we create rest areas in our lives so our souls can catch up and we can be whole again.
Post by Diane