Michigan beach at sunset
By Erika Boyer

This summer I have made time for periods of rest: first celebrating Pride Month with my partner on the shores of Lake Superior, then in my garden, and with the unchanging comfort of my lawn chairs and favorite cups full of herbal tea. Being able to slow down my brain and body for an extended time helps me “reset” into a pattern of calmness that I need for my life. I often remember the story from my Christian faith, of God resting on the seventh day after creating the stars, planets, all plant and animal life, every natural thing we know and love, including human beings. The Christian God is said to be capable of all things that are good, never tiring, never becoming weary, yet he still made the choice to rest after his work of Creation and he called it Good. If rest for this never-tiring God is good, it is certainly good for me! This yearly early-summer rest is very important to me, even though my work takes place somewhere like GilChrist! I am thankful for the way that the pieces fall together with my work so I am able to make space for this rest.

It is quite fulfilling to be part of the team that cultivates space at GilChrist for people to experience similar rest. I have crossed paths with countless guests who are exhausted and overwhelmed when they arrive, and leave GilChrist with immense gratitude for being a space where they could separate physically and psychologically from the work in their lives for a short while. These interactions keep fresh in my mind how important this work is, and how crucial rest is for us all. How often do you invite rest into your life? 

Erika Boyer is the Caretaker for Environmental Aesthetics at GilChrist Retreat Center.


GilChrist retreat center logo with white pine sprig

GilChrist is the public retreat center of the Fetzer Institute. We support the Institute’s mission of helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world by preserving a contemplative environment for healing self, society, and the natural world. We warmly welcome both groups and individuals and people of all faiths and affiliations.