Updated: Feb 10
At this time of year I find myself seeking quietude. Not solitude - there's been way too much of that this year, but moments and spaces that offer a quiet peace. I love Fall when Mother Nature starts to settle in for the long sleep of Winter. The colours, of course, are a last blast of stunning beauty before all turns to muted browns and greys. I find this time of year comforting, like a cable-knit sweater. I even like the shorter days; it means I can spend more guilt-free time in bed under the covers, cats akimbo, and with a good book in my hand (currently, I'm enjoying this delightful read as well as this thought-provoking one). For me, Fall is the season in which I feel the most in-sync with and grateful for the cycles of Nature.
We recently, finally, had our house painted. It was long overdue. Paul and I have rather stoically coped with the utilitarian army green that the sellers thought was appealing, I guess, but which only served to make a dark house darker. Now the walls are a lovely warm off-white which brightens up not only the rooms but our overall mood. More and more the house is feeling like home. And because we spend so much time here now, that's a welcome feeling.
I'm on a social media and world news hiatus. This also has a home-like feel to it. I am of the lucky generation who knows what quietude feels like. In my day (yes, I am old enough to use that phrase now), we had many, many built-in moments of doing nothing. We didn't feel pressured to fill our every idle moment with distraction. We were bored a lot of the time and, rather than being treated as a problem to fix, boredom is what spurred us to find something creative to do. When the mind is quiet, all kinds of cool ideas, not to mention solutions to problems, can come rushing forward. As kids, we actually played - with toys, with friends, on our own. Nowadays, it seems, kids (and grown-ups) just spend their time being distracted.
There is no doubt the world has become noisier and busier. I'm sorry that is the case. I don't think it serves our greatest good to be so "connected" to every single thing other people do or say. I mean, can we all be that fascinating all the time? Not really. At least, I can't. More to the point, are we meant to be? What if the gold standard of human behaviour was contentment? What would Instagram look like then?
I know what contentment looks like for me - a cozy fire, a wool blanket, a cup of tea, a good book, purring cats, and a mind absent of noise and nonsense. A space intentionally created where nothing much of import happens. A place where the door is shut to the outside world and to the relentless enticements to engage with the memes of the moment.
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