Renovare — a true story

She was as tired as she had ever been in her life; body, mind, and spirit. She hadn’t known that even bones could ache with weariness, deeper than muscle fatigue, deeper than the bruising of her skin. She lay herself down on the cold stone, not caring that a gentle rain was falling. It was the first time in days or maybe years she had stopped moving. She had no thoughts other than a word repeated over and over in her mind, a word in a language she did not speak but that she nonetheless understood: “Zenethre. Zenethre.” It meant something like, “enough,” something like, “stop,” or “rest,” or “it is finished,” and it was coming from deep inside of her and, also, somehow, from the trees and rain around her. Her eyes closed but she could still hear the rain falling on the few weather-beaten evergreens that grew here, at the very top of the mountain. The moisture settled on her clothes and hair, so light that it didn’t soak in right away but just left a soft dew on the surface. “Zenethre.” She didn’t sleep, unless she was already asleep, unless it had all been a dream, but as she lay there she began to feel the weariness flow out of her body and into the earth below, into the rocks and tree roots, a healing balm as deep as the mountain was tall. If it had been a smaller mountain it couldn’t have absorbed such a great weariness, and if the climb had been less she wouldn’t have needed it to. Yet as the aches left her body she realized that just as she had never been so tired, so had she never experienced real rest. She opened her eyes and saw that the wispy layers of clouds were thinning, luminous with the as yet unseen sun.


2 comments on “Renovare — a true story

  1. Matt Kantrowitz says:

    Very powerful…Reminded me of these lines by Leonard Cohen:
    Oh, you are really such a pretty one.
    I see you’ve gone and changed your name again.
    And just when I climbed this whole mountainside,
    to wash my eyelids in the rain!


  2. Chris Kantrowitz says:

    Just rereading this – I can so relate to that desire for true deep rest.


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