Being Still

In a world where people can easily share the photos of their fantastic trips, it is easy to forget the beauty of ordinary things. One of the gifts of staying home so much right now is that when I’m seeking for peace of spirit, I need to look for it right where I am instead of seeking it at a destination. This is when I recognize the deep beauty of sitting in a garden shaded by trees I planted twenty years ago, scented by flowers I planted, and carpeted by lawn I have mowed. Any peacefulness this place possesses, I earned through tending. This is one of the reasons I bought a new hammock.

The view from my hammock is tree leaves, fences that are in need of repair, and a lawn with many bare patches.

Yet there is peace to be had here if I’m willing to hold still long enough for it to show up. Holding still can be hard for me. I have to put aside the feeling that surely I could be doing something more useful with my time. As if the process of untangling my thoughts, of just being, had no intrinsic value. I spent more than an hour out there today. Not thinking about anything in particular. Not reading the book I brought outside with me. Not trying to solve anything. When I cam back inside, the words for this blog post flowed instead of needing to be extracted from tangles. It is a subtle, but significant change.

Having the hammock makes this process easier because it is new and comfortable. But I always had the option to throw a blanket on the lawn, or to sit on my concrete steps, or to just stand under the sky. It isn’t the hammock that brings me calmness, it is sitting still and breathing without doing.