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A Peaceful Exercise

By: John Dacey on November 3rd, 2022

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A Peaceful Exercise

Celebrating family life

It is autumn in this region, and we are watching the natural rhythm of the season unfold. “Rhythm” is one of those words we use in different ways. A few examples include the beat of our hearts, the meter of a poem, or musical tempo. When we set out for a walk with loved ones, we find a mutual sense of stride – a “together rhythm” for the walk. Rhythm can describe how we pace our daily activity; we’re “off rhythm” when we don’t feel our usual efficient selves.playful-grandfather-picture-id504043078

In the frenetic pace of our daily lives, we may have said, “I need to get into a rhythm.” It seems it is not simply about efficiency but also how our interior life connects to what we are doing – a presence of mind that affects the task at hand. 

A backyard swing is a rhythmic ride – a fun study in physics. Our grandkids have swings. I have had to do some grandpa service, pushing grandkids on the swing until they learned how to swing their legs to build height and momentum. With some practice, they found their rhythm, a sense of timing in synch with the arc of the swing. 

People of any age seem to enjoy a swing; there are porch swings and park swings. There are rocking chairs and gliders, and while they are more sedate than a swing, their rhythmic back-and-forth movement still brings delight and comfort. 

I recall holding and rocking our children and grandchildren in a rocking chair when they were infants – hoping to calm and console them. It was a peaceful exercise. 

We might think of creation as an expansive rhythmic movement of space and time, matter and mystery energized by the Spirit of God, animated by love – of which we are part – in which we are moving – loved by Him. 

In our prayer life, in a way, perhaps we are seeking the Lord’s rhythm in our lives, seeking to be in synch with His presence, His will for us, His timing, hoping for calm and consolation, comfort and delight – a peaceful exercise. 

“If I fly with the wings of dawn and alight beyond the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand hold me fast.”
(Psalm 139:9-10)

 In our family prayer, let us open our hearts to God’s Holy Spirit to guide all the rhythms of our lives. 

About John Dacey

John Dacey is a retired Catholic high school teacher. He has taught Scripture, Ethics, and Social Justice. He enjoys being in the company of family, reading in the field of spirituality, and gardening. John and his wife have been married for more than 40 years and have two children and four grandchildren.