The vast majority of my time this summer has been spent with my daughter. This is time that I treasure greatly. Much of the time that we have spent together has been active, but we have also enjoyed more peaceful activities and worked in moments of leisure. Many times we have enjoyed reading together. I love books, and for me, spending time immersed in stories and words with my daughter is truly leisure time. We sit on the sofa or on the floor and, at times, read stacks of books. The books we read are short board books and picture books, but they are still beautiful in their introduction of a young child to language, words, and stories. We have our favorite books that I have memorized from so many readings and others that we only read from time to time. In these moments, there is no rush to move on to something else. There is just the enjoyment of the books and of the time we are spending together.
We have also spent quite a bit of time outdoors. Some of this time has not been particularly full of leisure, but some of it has. Recently we visited an outdoor garden and sculpture park while on vacation. We took a quiet walk through the wetlands section of the garden, stopping along the way to look at the swans and ducks swimming in the pond. While my daughter enjoyed watching the animals, I was able to stop for a little while and enjoy the beauty of creation that surrounded us. Although the garden we were visiting is not far from houses and roads, none of these were visible. Nature and the sounds of nature were all that we could see and hear. It was a treat to stop and enjoy all the beauty that God created. As I reflect back on this time of leisure, I am reminded of the plenteous gifts of beauty that God has placed in the world around us, gifts that we do not always take note of in the hurry of our daily lives.