Last year I took a sabbatical. I’m not a pastor, or a tenured professor. As a lowly software developer, I was gifted with four consecutive weeks away from duty. Working with the grain of national holidays and four day work weeks in the summer, a few vacation days stretched it to six weeks.

And I’ll tell you what. It was great. I deleted all the unnecessary apps on my phone. The few remaining were relieved of their notification duties. Do not Disturb was taken off a schedule, and turned on permanently. I checked my phone once a day for messages. Text chains churned slowly. And our relationships were fine.

My laptop took up residence out of sight. Mind was free to casually consume the stack of books in front of me. Or just take a walk. With the family. At a leisurely pace.

The monks at the monastery were friendly. At least their smiles were. No words were permitted. Nor were they necessary.

A stack of journals accompanied me in the walls of painted stone. April 2000 thru June 2019. Over half my life, documented.

Younger Dan. You hate to see it. But you’re compelled to have compassion on the guy. He tried his best. He didn’t know the rest. He rarely found it. But when he did, it made a difference.

The prayer of the week was for tears. Brokenness. It never came. Some day, soon.

Driving south. Then further north. A cabin with warnings of bears. Seared scallops. A closed theme park. One episode of West Wing a day. 4:00am call time for sunrise over the Atlantic. Our most recent lunch. A turtle laying eggs. Disc golf on a tennis court. Winner Winner.

There’s no takeaway. No grand revelation. It’s just great to take your mind off work for a minute.

Published: 2020-10-15

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