Linda Kulp Trout

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Spiritual Journey Thursday - Time to Be Still

This week we are writing about Michelle Haseltine's One Little Word: SELAH.  I wasn't familiar with this word until I googled it and learned that it means "a holy pause." 

 Hitting the pause button and being "still" is something I need to practice more often. I always feel like I need to be accomplishing something.  So I rush around trying to keep the house looking nice, make tasty meals, create interesting lessons for my students, answer emails, pay bills, etc.  We all do those things, but the most exhausting thing for me is that  my mind keeps rushing too. Even when I try to fall asleep at night, I'm always planning or worrying about something.  I rarely slow down enough to just "be."

Sometimes things happen to force us to slow down. That's what happened with last week's blizzard. It started snowing Friday afternoon and didn't stop until Sunday morning. We had over 30 inches of snow!  We were completely snowed in over the weekend, and schools have been closed for the past three days. So, we've had five days of being home.

I love the way a snowstorm quiets everything.  No where to rush to, no schedules to keep, time to sit and watch the birds at the feeder, listen to the wind, and enjoy the beauty outside my window. This unexpected gift of time gave me a chance to do a little reading, write in my journal, and think about my life. Now that the roads are clear, things are getting back to normal. That makes me a little sad.

At first, it was hard for me be still, but now I look forward to it. I need more "snow days" in my life, but they can be so hard to find.  Selah, from what I understand, is simply taking a little time to reflect on what's important.  I'm going to make an effort to find a few moments every day to sit in silence, to stare out the window, and to listen.

I leave you with this lovely poem from Snow Toward Evening, poems selected by Josette Frank and gorgeous paintings by Thomas Locker. It's no longer in print, but Amazon has some used copies.

Snow Toward Evening

Suddenly the sky turned gray,
The  day,
   Which had been bitter and chill,
    Grew intensely soft and still.
    From some invisible blossoming tree
Millions of petals, cool and white,
Drifted and blew,
Lifted and flew,
Fell with the falling night.

-Melville Cane

Thank you for reading. I welcome your comments about how taking a "holy pause" has made a difference in your life.
Be sure to stop by and visit Holly for more spiritual goodness at Reading, Teaching, Learning.


  1. This reminded me of Dori's post about people not being able to relax when they first began doing the ending pose called "savasana" and how it became easier to be still with practice.
    I remember in an ice storm here, we lost power for a week. After the initial wringing of hands, we relaxed and the kids didn't want the power to come back on! Talk about a major selah!
    I loved the Cane poem!

    1. Donna, thanks for your comment. I think we're all so used to being "busy" that we don't know how to just "be."

  2. Thank you for sharing your snow day Selah moments. The Melville Cane poem is a perfect mood-setter accompaniment to soaking in the snow.You have such a peaceful writing presence, even when you write about multitasking activities, that I'm confident Selah is yours for the receiving. God bless you!

    1. Bobbie, I appreciate your comment about my "peaceful writing presence." That surprised me because I rarely feel peaceful. Most of the time, I wonder if my thoughts are too scattered for anyone to understand what I'm trying to say. Your words meant a lot to me. : )

  3. What a lovely poem. I wrote a "Snow Envy" Slice of Life on Tuesday because I would have loved that snowstorm! I loved seeing all the pictures. I can understand your reluctance to return to normal. Lovely poem! Thomas Lockers paintings are so beautiful and peaceful - perfect for SELAH!

    1. We have mountains of snow here so it will take some time for all of it to melt, but I'm already missing the quiet that came with the blizzard. : )

  4. I love snow days. They are beyond rare here in the Deep South, but those moments of enforced stillness can be so lovely. A beautiful poem. I am intrigued by the rhyme scheme.

  5. Dear Linda, I love your perspective on the quiet that snowstorms bring. So lovely, when those of us in the south who are so ill-prepared for snow have a hard time seeing beyond the inconvenience! I was with family this past weekend in Chattanooga TN where we got a light dusting, and because we were bundled and cozy and had no plans except to enjoy one another, the snow was simply lovely. Selah, indeed! Thank you. xo

  6. Linda, I think it's lovely that you had this snow experience just before writing about "selah." Do you suppose it can be cultivated, this habit of pausing, as a type of discipline?

  7. I have to admit, I have been a teeny bit jealous of all of you, having a weather imposed respite. I am like you, way too much rushing and not nearly enough stillness. We are supposed to have a storm on Monday and Tuesday. I'm hoping it's a super big one…

  8. I felt the same sense of peace and tranquility. I do believe I am ready soon for another storm!

  9. What a lovely post! Glad to hear things are getting back to normal after all that snow, but am also happy it gave you time for that much-needed pause. Taking time each day to "reflect on what's important" seems like such a simple thing, yet finding those precious minutes can be such a challenge!

  10. I love how sometimes life forces a slow or quiet time on us, and we can choose to fight it or breathe it in, as you did. Lovely post.

  11. Please mention Ohio to the Universe when you're wishing for more snow. I need a pause day (or two or three) in my life!!