Rest and Read this Summer!

Dr. Patricia R. Cruz, LCSW

I read a scripture recently that resonated with me deeper than it ever has. I am sure it is one I have repeated a lot for one reason or another over the years. This time it stayed with me longer than normal, maybe a few days…and spurred other thoughts and memories. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV) â€œâ€¦what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.†

The memory that jolted me yesterday was my grandmother’s voice from my childhood. Growing up in New Orleans, the summers were hot, and there was not enough daylight for all the fun we needed to have. Somehow right in the middle of everything, my grandma would call for all of us to “go sit down and rest.†It sounded more like “…just get somewhere and sit down, rest yourself.†I see it perfectly now, you need rest. I still have no idea how she knew the restorative power sitting down for a while. I recall spending a lot of my sitting down time, resting, and reading a book. If you are from the south, you know when it rained, that was the perfect time to sit down and rest. Or better yet, take a nap. It seems we were always called to take a rest. Back in the 80’s my grandma new rest was a requirement, and not a reward. I wonder how she also knew there was nothing new under the sun. 

So, for my grandma, I understand now…I am right here glaring at what is not new under the sun and preparing for my rest. Do you take the summertime for rest? Do not mistake this for “not working.†I am talking about doing the things that intentionally slow down your movement (“all that ripping and runningâ€), get some peace, rest your body and your mind. However, you plan and organize your time this summer, I am encouraging you to rest. 

I will use my rest for reading. Let me add…I am not a TV or movie watcher. I typically read anything and everything I can get my hands on. I am no stranger to all genres of books, magazines, and newspapers. I also set aside the time and space to get quiet and read. This is what I have done all my life…so there is nothing new under the sun. This season feels different, the focus and the intent. I am reading for healing, growth, pleasure, and new knowledge. I am also in a big way honoring my grandma. I will be having some fun this summer season… along with the required rest, especially when it rains. This is what I am reading and coloring this summer…

  1. How We Heal by Alexandra Elle
  2. Blue Hour by Tiffany Clarke Harrison
  3. Wake up Grateful by Kristi Nelson
  4. I Am: Manifestation & Self Love Coloring Book for Black Women: With Positive Affirmations to Manifest Love, Success & Happiness, Boost Your Confidence, Raise Your Self Esteem and Improve Your Mindset by Aaliyah Wilson
  5. Bigger than Bravery ~ Black Resilience and Reclamation in a Time of Pandemic by Valerie Boyd
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