“Good Things Come to Those Who Sit”
A review of
God in the Yard:
Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us.
By L. L. Barkat.
Reviewed by Denise Frame Harlan.
God in the Yard: Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us.
L. L. Barkat.
Paperback: T.S. Poetry Press, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
“ …we disquiet our minds by I don’t know how many devices;
we give ourselves a world of trouble…to attain a sense of the Presence of God.”
— Brother Lawrence, as quoted by L. L. Barkat
“There’s a part of me that feels pinched in this life,” L.L.Barkat says in God in the Yard: Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us. She remembers finding solace in the woods, to help her survive a difficult childhood. But she doesn’t live near the woods in her adult life. She craves a pilgrimage, citing Annie Dillard’s life-changing journey to the Galapagos—but the pilgrimage Barkat finds begins on a red plastic sled going nowhere, in an unkempt urban backyard. She sits. Perhaps she chooses the sled because she is just that desperate. She proposes a spiritual practice for those who need respite—for people who feel busy and a little crushed. For people like me.
My church school classroom houses a 30-foot long history of the Jewish people. Each time we unroll the timeline, I note how much biblical history passed before the written word, before written scripture was available to the common person. How did they worship, before these stories could be read from a page? They built altars from the stones they found, as a way to say thanks to God, and they talked through the stories by firelight, under the open sky.