The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Can you do it? Can you walk in the truth you profess to believe and embrace stillness even in the midst of the busy?
I pose the question to myself as I realize I have commitments every day on the horizon. I’m already feeling overwhelmed with lists and, not in some small part, technology issues that have been taking far too much of my attention. The day doesn’t start out well and I lose my tenuous grasp on peace early.
Then gifts start to show up.
Gerry and I sit in Starbucks munching on a pair of turkey and stuffing sandwiches (delicious treats they offer this time of year), and I sip a frothy half-sweet caramel macchiato. We chat about this-and-that as we eat. It’s a wonderful treat in the middle of the day.
After we finish our sandwiches we poke around for a while in Chapters and the bookstore ambiance soothes me. It was once a special treat for me to steal away, grab a coffee, and spend an hour with books. I haven’t done it for far too long.
Later, I lose my serenity at Best Buy while shopping for an external hard drive and have to walk away empty-handed. We head to Gerry’s appointment at the vascular improvement clinic and are encouraged by his most-excellent stats and amused at the nurse’s reaction when she realizes he’s seventy-years-old. Yeah. Good stuff.
A phone call as I’m driving from that appointment to our next stop (don’t worry Gerry, the passenger, took it), and losing my way in the city I’ve lived in since I was eighteen (save for those seven years in Washington state), and by the time we arrive I’m feeling even more off-balance. I wait for Gerry in the car—discombobulated, tired, and fuzzy. He returns and I turn the car toward home, certain of the way this time, as my phone dings with a couple of text messages and the car reads them to us. Amazing.
We’re home briefly. I check on the technology, drink some water, and we prepare to head out again.
“You drive this time,” I beg. “I just don’t feel well.”
Later and finally, we arrive home to stay as the day grows dark and the Yorkie reminds us it’s supper time. Gerry feeds Maya as I change into pajamas, and head down to the woman cave to connect the external hard drive I picked up at Costco (with no confusing sales person causing me angst in the process).
I find the door closed and inside, next to my desk, the faux wood stove hums. I breathe a prayer of gratitude for my thoughtful husband who got there before me and turned it on so I would be warm as I worked. I get the restore running, turn the heater off, and head back upstairs.
”Thank you for turning on the heater for me.”
I allow myself to be drawn into my husband’s arms for a moment of stillness. I need to pause for more of this. The burden of the day continues to fall away and I choose to let it go.
I sit on the floor and throw Maya’s toy for a few rounds of Fetch as Gerry and I watch the news. In time, I pull things out of the fridge, thankful for an easy supper of leftovers that doesn’t require any brain power to pull together.
Evening passes. We watch a favourite medical show on TV, I take a few more trips downstairs to check on things and restart other things, another phone conversation, and by the time I put a few drops of lavender essential oil in the diffuser and fall into bed I’m done. I open my Kindle and read a few words, switch to another book, browse through the virtual library and try another, but nothing holds my attention.
So I put it down, breathe a prayer of thanksgiving, and declare the day done. No I didn’t carry stillness with me throughout, but I managed to be intentional about grabbing, and appreciating, pockets of it in the midst. That’s something.