May You Rest

May You Rest
© 1998 Bret Hesla. bret.hesla@gmail.com

May you rest as peaceful and timeless as a lake
Nestled deep in wilderness untraveled
May you rest as peaceful and timeless as a lake
Many portages past the familiar

Ch: Rest in peace
May you rest in peace

God be the basin that holds you
God be the stars that enfold you
Rays of golden sunlight will warm your shoals
Trickle of the snowmelt will fill your soul

Calm of the evening will soothe the day
Ripples on your surface will die away
Resting in the silence, beneath unbounded space
You will be a mirror reflecting God’s face


Words and music by Bret Hesla.
© 1998 Bret Hesla.  All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Licensed via OneLicense.net,  Contact: Bret.hesla@gmail.com.

In this age of information overkill, I”m drawn to the notion of Meister Eckert, that God (the spirit, peace, wholeness) “is not found in the soul by adding anything, but by a process of subtraction.” In the late 80s, I was given an anonymous poem from my friend Jon Olson, who thought its imagery might make a good base for a meditative song. It began with the lines, “Peace, O Soul. Deep peace. Be a high lake.”
This song retains many fragments from the original poem, but I’ve paddled the imagery a good ways toward my camping experiences in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of the Minnesota/Ontario border. And I think of my uncle Don, who took many batches of teenagers, including us, up there canoeing. He helped plant a lifelong love of that beauty and solitude in our hearts. The lake-country wilderness is about as close to heaven as I could ask for.

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