The black and white of resting

In last week’s post, I told you about my hopes for a personal worst (PW) in a race. Well, I finished the race (yay!) and have a new PW (also yay?). The weather was beautiful, the course was hilly, and I took time to stop and smell the roses. Well, not exactly. There weren’t any roses along the course. But I did take time to stop both ways on the out-and-back course to hug a friend who was volunteering at a water stop.

She’s a great encourager and broke into a huge grin both times she saw me. Her husband and I had see-sawed places several times during the race, saying hello by name each time one of us passed the other (which made us both chuckle a little). He finished well ahead of me, running his best time in 10 years, no small feat at age 71! (This wonderful couple completed a 100-mile race last year, becoming the oldest married couple to do so.)

I felt happier at the end of this race than usual, probably because I hadn’t exhausted myself mentally or physically to run a fast time. That didn’t mean I wasn’t sore. The pain Monday signaled that I had to be gentle with myself. I needed to find a way to rest.

Resting in black and white
How many of you think of resting in terms of black and white? Rest means you’re lying down or sitting. Black and white, right? There are times we must rest in this way—a dear friend recovering from surgery right now knows the frustration of a forced black and white rest all too well. I hope she’ll be well enough soon to get on her feet for a more active rest.

There are other times when black and white isn’t the only kind of rest we need, when rest with a bit of color is best.

Wayne Muller is the author of a lovely book about Sabbath rest, and in it, he writes:

When we consecrate a time to listen to the still, small voices,  we remember from where we are most deeply nourished, and see more clearly the shape and texture of the people and things before us. (Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives, 5)

I knew I needed to let my body rest. I also knew I needed to move. So I thought about the ways I could move that would also be restful and nourishing. A way of rest that would enable me to see shapes and textures, as Muller writes.

I ended up taking a long stroll through my city’s arboretum. It’s such a beautiful time of year to visit. And taking pictures as I wandered was the most healing kind of rest I could have done. By the time I left the arboretum, the pain was gone, and I felt a lighter, refreshed spirit, too.

When I got home, I loaded the photos and played with making some of them black and white (another way of active rest for me). I’m sharing some favorites below. What I like most about the black and white is how it reveals texture in a way brilliant color might overshadow.

Come back next week to see the same photos in color. I hope you’ll let me know which you prefer: the black and white or the color versions. In the meantime, care to guess the colors of any of these?


An amaryllis


Small flowers with tiny flowers at their center


A calycanthus


A chewed-up flower. Can you find the ant? (Double-click the photo to see it larger.)




A gerbera (I think)


A branch of a smoke tree


Iris #1


Iris #2








I love the shimmer of this one …


… and the interesting texture of this one.


More fun texture


I couldn’t find a tag identifying this flower. Anyone know what it is? What a cool center!

How do you prefer to rest? Do you allow yourself only the black and white rest of sleep, or do you have more active, more colorful ways to rest and recharge?

1 thought on “The black and white of resting

  1. Pingback: And now presented in living color | The Flourishing Tree

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