Sketchbook Saturday Morning

It must have been five years ago now, that we started this quiet ritual of unwinding during Saturday Mornings. We’d stay in our pajamas, make something warm and fresh for breakfast and then we’d all take up a creative project to occupy us for a few hours of being  alone, together.


We had a harried pace then, two more-than-full-time, stressful jobs and a few side gigs, just to make ends meet. And somewhere in the midst of all that, we discovered this blissful container. Solitude around our little kitchen table or at the nearest coffee shop— sometimes even a picnic table at a campsite. When friends or family would visit, we would invite them too. This time of collective solitude was such a joy.


Somewhere, it got lost, as things do. Swept up in life and in a flurried, frenzy of new. You can’t quite remember when it stopped or why it stopped, but it did.




A few weekends ago, we visited a new coffee shop and resurrected that old habit. I asked everyone to bring their sketchbook boxes. My husband, Eric, brought his laptop so he could finish his reading for his class on food systems.




It felt like visiting an gentle, wise friend. The magic was still inside of that ritual. We were armed with our sketchbooks, watercolor paint and pens, little bits of conversation and laughter. A few sweets and a couple cups of coffee. And we practiced the sacred time of Sketchbook Saturday Morning.


And it also felt like a natural flow— that sensation you get when you hit your stride on a long run, a quiet mind in meditation or a long forgotten song on the radio on a balmy summer evening— a sense of wholeness, healing, past and being.


I made my mom a painting, years ago that bravely asks, “What makes you feel like you are sitting deeply in your life?” I have an answer.


This. Painting, drawing, journaling, reading, together. This makes me feel like we are sitting deeply in our life, together.


I read a piece about Sabbath recently, from The New Domestic originally published in Grounded Magazine in 2014. What impressed me was not just the marking of the weekend, but of intentionally making plans for rest. For me, relaxing has become something you fall into— as in the pile you become at the end of the week. You rest when your energy is at an all time low, mainly because you have no other choice.


This suggests to me that my feelings of deep gratitude for Sketchbook Saturday Morning were more than just for the sketchbooks, it was the hallowed space that we intentionally carved out for rest and togetherness.


We are together all the time. I work from home, my husband works from home, my children are homeschooled. We have been in a year of unparalleled togetherness. Which actually, really works for us. But, there is a hum and a whiz to most of our days. We’re going and moving in a hundred directions. But, in this hallowed time the hum becomes a whisper. And we can hear the heart beats of each other.


And I’m actively seeking these joyful, quiet experiences that I can gather up and pile in with all the joyful hum and whiz of our regular days. Tonight, the kids and I danced in the pool a relay of silly walks. And we got some funny looks, but, no matter. We were enjoying. And now, I hear them laughing to the 1961 version The Parent Trap movie in the living room.


If we let life run away, the pace becomes untenable, frenzied. But, intentionally— carving out time — can be a ‘chore’ but, it is the gift that gives us more than we could ever ask or imagine.



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