The first August I lived in Italy, I had no idea what had hit the entire country. Still anemic in language and culture, I didn’t know what to make of the silent streets of Florence, usually full of people, suddenly deserted. My bread store with its big gray steel closure had a handwritten note on it. “Chiuso per ferie.” Numbers scribbled underneath marked what I figured to be calendar dates. Whaaaat?
The inconvenience of “Closed for holiday,” that first year grew on me. I kind of began to anticipate the August siesta, because it brought a hush over the city, a certain tranquility from its usual throbbing urgency. We walked farther for milk and bread. We learned new routes. We had fewer deadlines.
Although we didn’t often join the migration en masse to the beach, we learned to prepare and enjoy a breather from regular schedules.
Without frenetic traffic we discovered places, hushed and layered with history. In the vacancy, during its “chiuso per ferie,” we fell in love with the country.
“And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Mark 6:31
I’m convicted by Jesus’ words to his disciples who were coming and going, beholden to needs, and oh so busy. I’ve wondered how I would respond to His outstretched hand with the invitation, “come aside.”
Do I trust Him enough to rest for a while?
I am so grateful to every one of you who follow and anticipate a new blog on whenthehouseisquiet.com each week. I am honored.
But folks, I’m taking a short siesta.
I feel the need of a bit of “chiuso per ferie,” to think without typing out words in my brain. So, although I haven’t scribbled the date and glued it on my page, I will see you back at whenthehouseisquiet.com in a few weeks, I am hoping you will meet me there again.
I’d love to have you check out some of my recent posts:
*feature photo by Philip Schroeder – Rometta beach Sicily