With the kids back in school, lately I’ve had a lot more ‘quiet’ available to just think. Not that I didn’t before, but I guess I mean ponder, quietly thinking about different things without being interrupted by all that lovable talking and noise kids naturally make. I’ve pondered while I’ve taken our two dogs on hour-long walks several times over the past week. I’ve enjoyed just sitting in our big comfy reading chair with my eyes closed, just letting my mind wander. I even had some pretty deep thoughts while scrubbing the kitchen grout with a toothbrush, in silence. Yes, I’ve been getting some long overdue housekeeping projects done while they are in school too. ☺
Yesterday I was outside watering our garden, yard plants and some patches of brown grass that seem to always be missed by our sprinkler. It was a beautiful day, warm, clear skies, and I was once again enjoying the quiet. As I was standing there with my thumb over the hose spraying water on one of the brown patches, getting hotter and hotter in the sun, I sprayed some of the cool water on my feet and ankles. Suddenly, I felt like I was transported back in time to when I was a kid, and we had to haul our own water. I remembered distinctly being with my Mom and four siblings at the well with our water barrels in the back of the truck, another really hot summer day in Arizona, and my Mom taking a moment to splash the nice, cool water on us from the hose, soaking us completely. It felt so good in that heat! The thought of that moment unexpectedly brought tears to my eyes, and I realized that those memories and experiences are what make life great.
I also realized that taking time to be in the ‘quiet’, is essential. Not ‘quiet’ when you have a preplanned set of tasks or topics you are going to think about or figure out, although that can be useful. I mean ‘quiet’ when the purpose is to think of nothing at all, but to let your mind wander and end up where it wants to go. The type of quiet where you gaze off at nothing and your mind is relaxed and floating from one thought to the next, without control, until it finally quiets itself down. That’s when real clarity and ‘quiet’ show up.
Since I have naturally had more time for this kind of ‘quiet’ to happen lately, I’ve realized what I’ve been missing out on by not intentionally making it a priority in my life in the past. I’ve become more patient when my children are home and making noise, I’ve become more aware of the value of simple memories and experiences over larger ones. I’ve also become more aware of my self, my thoughts and my inner feelings.
I feel better than before, calmer and happier.