As I wait for the timer to tell me to take my Cardamom Oatmeal Banana Bread from the oven and I nervously stall waking my husband who, in short, could use a little shut-eye, I was reminded of Shakespeare's 28 Sonnet:
"How can I then return in happy plight
That am debarred the benefit of rest,
When day's oppression is not eased by night,
But day by night and night by day oppressed,
And each, though enemies to either's reign,
Do in consent shake hands to torture me,
The one by toil, the other to complain
How far I toil, still farther off from thee?
I tell the day, to please him, thou art bright
And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven;
So flatter I the swart-complexioned night,
When sparkling stars twire not, thou gild'st the even.
But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer,
And night doth nightly make grief's length seem stronger. "
Joshua works in excess of 80 hours a week, day in and day out, without a day off. He works under terrible management and even worse leadership. Oppressive, dominant, ruthless and power-tripping Type A individuals whose daily highlight is found in criticism and cutting morale. Watching him sleep peacefully on the floor of our dining room (where he found me when he got home), as he subconsciously listens to Celtic music and feels air conditioning for the first time all day, he is able to rest. Rest without a rude awakening or a crude conversation nearby. He is able, if for a short while, to forget the complaining echoes in ruminate in his mind all day and he is able to shrug off the bothersome monotony of lists of overwhelming work to achieve.
Just a moment longer, just breathe, sleep deeply, smell the fresh bread, feel the cool air reprieve and remember my vow to you: I will provide you with a retreat - a place of solace and rejuvination to give you a place to rest and find peace.
Now sleep and dream of the hills of Ireland. The bread timer will wake you when it's time to eat.