Into the Quiet

Beautiful deer, Photo by my daughter Michelene
Beautiful deer, Photos by my daughter Michelene

“Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.”
Mary Oliver

How has your new year been so far? After a calm weather period during the holidays, it has been so cold and snowy here in the Northeast. I started my new swim class of the year, diligently bundling up in sweaters and boots afterwards (yes, the class is indoors!), and walking to my car to 2 degree weather.

Cold, yes. But the swim class has lifted me up, reminding me of how much I love a chance to move my body, especially under the water. I’m taking a simple aqua balance class twice a week at the Y, and what a difference in how it makes me feel.

This is typically the time of year when we want to lose weight, start new goals. It’s a good time to re-evaluate what’s working and what to leave behind. I am trying to work on balance. I stand on one leg in swim class while pulling my other leg up and holding it. Sometimes I can stand perfectly still; other times I cannot! But I don’t mean just physical balance. I mean overall balance in my life between work, family, and play.

Life is so busy. I scratch my head over how hard people are expected to work these days. It seems like thDeer Winter 2015 #4ere is never enough time in a day to get it all done. More sales, more meetings, more internet time. Maybe it’s time to take a step back.

So I am Into the Quiet as of late. Yes I am still trying to accomplish much. Yes, I am working on my business and following up on leads. But I am usually wrapped up in my sweater at night, reading or watching a favorite show. I spend time with my mother. I made time to make chocolate chip cookies. I can take a break from accomplishing.

Jim has been putting dried corn out in our back yard for the deer. I have been filling up my bird feeder. Around dusk the deer will sometimes come. The other night we had six deer come for a visit. One was a six point, one a four point. There were some yearlings too. The birds come all day and visit the feeder. What do they remind me of? Peace. Quiet. Why? Because I stop and watch them. I am still.

So here’s to the new year.  A chance to work, but also a chance to rest. To establish new habits of quality time with myself and slow down just a bit. To listen, and to hear myself.

Wonder what he's thinking???
Wonder what he’s thinking???

Winter Deer and Bird

 Winter Birds

Just Beautiful
Just Beautiful
Join me on my graceful journey.

The Sound of Silence

Silence is a source of great strength.  ~Lao Tzu

I realized, as I was on a social media site this week, that a couple of my normally vocal and oft-posting friends seem to be taking a break. Translation: wow, it’s kind of quiet…

My big fundraiser project is over, the meetings are over, the wrap up is over, summer is over…..yes, it’s really quiet.

Photo by Michelene Cain

It’s mid-October. It’s dark earlier now and I love to curl up in a blanket and read or relax. The peace feels really good, welcoming in fact as compared to the more hectic and packed long, summer days.

That said, it is usually not quiet at my house. There are four of us under one roof of a small, ranch style house. There is a noisy, over exuberant yellow lab thrown into the lot. People like to drop by, hang out, have a cup of coffee. Holidays are usually big, messy and loud with a ton of people and eating, eating, eating….

If it sounds like I secretly love all this, you are right. I do. However, I have also been known to sneak off somewhere in busy moments, to disappear for a few minutes, just to bring myself back to center. I have to take a break to pause, to rest, to connect with my source of inspiration.

I think solitude is necessary for our spirit. It is nourishing, revitalizing, and somewhat selfish. But it is a good selfish. The kind of selfish that’s necessary to recharge our batteries and connect with a source of inspiration and grace. It’s a fuel to keep us going.

I’m going away with some good friends this weekend in a setting of quiet woods. I’m thinking about the fun we’re going to have, the laughter and the good times. The thought of those moments of quiet solitude that I will find there too appeals to me as well. I’m looking forward to it all.

Have a quiet, lovely, joyous weekend my friend.

Photo by Terri Ruggeri
Join me on my graceful journey.