In the middle of a hectic morning I suddenly find myself all alone and surrounded by total silence.
This day started as one of those gotta-rush-to-the-next-place kind of days. While watching Simon make his way slowly through his breakfast of fruit and yogurt, I glanced at the calendar and suddenly realized we needed to leave for music class in fifteen minutes! I had completely lost track of what day it was, and forgotten all about our class! I immediately shouted for my husband, who came to my aid getting our toddler cleaned up and dressed, while I ran in the other direction to shovel a granola bar into my mouth and get dressed myself. We dashed out the door, picked up our friends that we carpool with, and made it to class on time. Afterward, I realized there would be zero time to get to my coffee shop for caffeine like I had hoped, and instead I got home, handed Simon off to Jeramy once more, fixed an instant iced coffee in a to go cup, threw some leftovers into a container, and hopped in the car to go to work at the Library.
That is where I sit now. Filling in while my co-workers have their meeting. In complete silence. No patrons at the Library right now. Just me, my coffee, the Children’s Floor guinea pig, and the quiet. A chance to breathe for a moment, to catch up to myself.
I have been thinking a lot about stillness these days, reading posts by other bloggers who are finding time in their days to do absolutely nothing but suck up the sweetness of life. Their writings remind me to pause, to move slowly, to take time for the details.
Many months back, I was going into a co-worker’s office to leave something-or-other on his desk, when I happened to glance up at the bulletin board and a note there caught my eye. It was a simple post-it note, on which was written, in pencil: “cultivate stillness“. I fell in love with this simple message immediately, and when I got home that day I grabbed a post-it of my own and wrote the same thing down: “cultivate stillness“. I stuck my note up on the wall in my home office, and each time I notice it I mentally ask myself: “Am I being still enough? Am I creating enough opportunities for myself and my family to savor life?”
This is hard advice to follow sometimes. Company might be coming, and the house has got to be made spotless. We might have five appointments on one day and I end up eating a meal in the car while I rush around. The toddler might decide he is going to demand everything from me that day, and test the limits of my patience for everything we do. Life happens. But in the middle of it all, I try to remember to cultivate stillness in all that I am doing. To be mindful of my motions as I am making them. To breathe.
And here I am now. Doing just that, in a Public Library, of all places. My name tag is on, I have tasks to get done. But for just one moment, I take a breath, revel in being all alone, sip my coffee, and appreciate the way everything around me is perfectly still.