Sometimes there just isn’t room enough for everything I love in my life. The music I am listening to is distracting, the book I am enjoying reading demands my time, the painting waiting to be finished calls and calls, I want time to see how things are with friends and family. So I scatter myself here and there and end up feeling unsatisfied. Some things are accomplished, but it never feels like enough.
Finally I turn off the radio, take my fingers off the keyboard, put the top of the laptop down and watch the leaves on the trees blowing in the wind gusting past my window. Such simple things to do. Why don’t I do them more often? I know that sometimes I need to make space for silence, for contemplation, for the pause that will bring me back to who I am and what I want to do.
It seems that somewhere along the way we have learned that we should be constantly active, always doing. Contemplation and quiet are ‘down time’. And the only value of ‘down time’ is that it is a bridge to the next ‘up time’.
I have decided that I prefer to think of the quiet times as an inhalation, a time for taking things in. Like breathing, those quiet times are necessary for a healthy life. After a deep breath we feel better, more focused, more relaxed. Like watching the tide ebb, it gives us a chance to see what lies underneath the surface.
Perhaps we need to ebb before we can flow.