I’m sitting here quietly, listening to the silence of summer holidays. The streets are quiet, birds singing and bees buzzing. Outside I smell warm nectar and cut grass. I love the way Melbourne slows down after Christmas. People are walking without hurrying; smiling, enjoying this moment in the season. It is fleeting. The population and energy grow again through January as people return from beach holidays. The pace returns.
My wish for us as we begin the new year is to hold dear in our hearts a piece of this silence and carry it with us through the year. That we can access slowness. That we can dwell between activities in moments of summer flavoured ease. That we can value an unhurried way of being. That this quietude can be a balm to overactive lives. That doing nothing can provide an antidote to all the times we are doing too much.
For our worth is not only bound up in our activities and achievements. Our worth is also in our awareness; spacious, open, here and now. There is something wonderful about summer which gives us permission to let go and do nothing and dwell in this mindful state of being.
I’m imagining a year filled with nature baths, long strolls, silences and wonderings. Contemplation and slow tempo. Languid meals and belly laughs.
For movement instead of exercise, for bird watching instead of screen watching. For holding hands with the unseen, poetic, unexplainable beauty of life.
Here is a poem by David Whyte that speaks to me at this time.
Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.
-- David Whyte
from Everything is Waiting for You
©2003 Many Rivers Press