“We who live in quiet places have the opportunity to become acquainted with ourselves, to think our own thoughts and live our own lives in a way that is not possible for those keeping up with the crowd.”
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
The other night I talked with a man I knew many years ago when I was still working here in Kamloops. I knew him then as a man of integrity–a gentle man. We talked briefly, over a noisy dinner table, about the turns our lives had taken since we worked together and then our conversation turned to the now.
He spoke of providing childcare for his grandchildren; and regular visits to, and appreciation for, our local library. When he mentioned the book he’s currently reading–Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain–a book I’ve been intending to reread, it dawned on me that he’s one too. An introvert.
I felt validated, in that moment, to understand that this man, successful in his career and a pillar in his family, shared the same appreciation for the quiet life as I do. So often it seems that we who appreciate silence and solitude are few and when I come across another it’s refreshing.
Amidst the cacophony of conversation, struggling against my desire to go home and settle in with my book, I reminded myself that we who are quiet were created with a purpose. We have unique strengths and abilities, just like our extroverted friends do–different, but of equal value. I wish I didn’t need to be reminded of this, but sometimes I do.
And that dinner? I think next year I’ll skip it and stay home with whatever good book I’m reading at the time. And that will be okay.