Contentment

A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor — such is my idea of happiness. ~ Leo Tolstoy

DSCF3821

This week, the sun appeared, figuratively and literally, after many weeks of darkness. Wednesday was restorative. I wept more that day than I have in years. And the tears sprang from a range of emotions: loss, grief, relief, and deep joy. But by 10 PM, I reached a place of such deep peace that all I could feel was restored and rebalanced, which reminded me again how greatly well-intentioned, ethical, and intelligent leadership contributes to our sense of security and calmness. For two nights, I have slept and had dreams. For uninterrupted hours.

IMG-0582 (1)

Yes, we’re each responsible for our self-care, but I can tell you that for this 40-year practitioner, meditation, breathwork, yoga, and a depth of spiritual practices followed in the absence of political and cultural stability have specific and dramatic limits. It’s easy to forget this when life is flowing more smoothly. So much of the journey is unlearning and relearning. Finding our center, losing it, and finding it again. Trying again, and with deeper knowledge and experience to find and root ourselves in presence to the gift of here/now.

But we’ve noticed the change: News bulletins aren’t dreaded; we’re not waking or living in constant anxiety; calamity isn’t a daily given. We didn’t know how tired we were nor how heavy a burden weighed upon our shoulders and spirits until it was lifted. I think that had a lot to do with the volume of tears on Wednesday. Release. Relief. Gratitude.

DSCF3825

Life feels brighter and merrier. Do we as a nation and planet still face many challenges? You betcha. But I believe there are now gifted adults at the helm who will sort, focus, and do the considerable best they can for and with all of us. There are so many people all over the world who need our help. I feel like it’s coming, and soon, for all of us. This allows me to soften my muscles, breathe, and relax. Who remembers relaxing? It’s so much easier to tend and nurture life with a communally-reduced anxiety level. Gratitude, gratitude.

At Full Moon Cottage, we’re welcoming the sunshine, regardless of the fact that it creates colder days. And the days are growing longer, too, another spirit-booster. The return to a higher quality of peace has led us to fill our days with pastimes and tasks that deepen our contentment.

DSCF3814

Seed and nursery catalogues occupy hours of blissful dreaming. I recently saw a meme that said something like, “I love flowers; I want all the flowers.” Claude Monet said, “I must have flowers, always and always.” I’m with Claude! I don’t know that I will ever have enough gardens and flowers, but I know that I’m imagining more gardens than I could ever manage to tend, so I have to narrow it down to a few new plants for the butterflies, other insects, birds, and bees. And a few new shrubs and trees, too. Sigh.

IMG-8394

Phillip has ordered his veggie seeds and will soon be getting them started under grow lights. And he’s been busy in his shop creating an entertainment center for friends who moved to St. Paul. We’re waiting for our vaccines to be started/completed before we can go shopping for the colored glass he needs to create the leaded windows he’s designed for the doors to this piece. Everything in its time.

IMG-8399

Walks have been bright and invigorating this week. Shadows were absent for so long that encountering their brilliant blue stripes and shapes patterned across the winter ice and snow is visually startling, like walking into the paintings of Carlos Cruz-Diez. (Below: Carlos Cruz-Diez, Induction du Jaune Rioja , 2014)

Carlos Cruz-DiezDSCF3813IMG-0610IMG-0578IMG-0747

And, late in the afternoon, we sit with the 4-leggeds and watch a British program called Escape to the Country, which takes prospective home buyers to the county of their choice throughout the UK, where they tour three properties within their stated budget, meet local artists, visit places of interest, and then choose a home, or not. We’re in love with the history, architecture, topography, and gardens, and have chosen about a zillion cottages for our own in the few weeks we’ve been watching the program. We can never decide which county is our favorite, but it’s a lovely dreamtime to share together as the sun sets.

IMG-0937

Contentment is a state we have not visited for a long time. It’s like returning to a place you loved but had left behind, or rekindling a once-precious relationship that time had dimmed. You discover not only the easy reconnection and renewal of affection, but burnished depths and treasures you’d missed. Contentment, clouded for years, has returned, and is coupled with our revitalized hope. Both shine like the sun, and we are grateful.

And from this place of contentment, may we return to the world and use our gifts to bless all; as we’ve been created, may we create, and as we are loved, may we love.

DSCF3817

© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

10 thoughts on “Contentment

    1. Sweet antsimon, thank you for writing! It is good to take some time and savor a restoration of order and accountability. It seems a much better way to navigate the challenging waters ahead.

      Be safe and well, and gentle peace to you. ♥️

  1. Oh, how wonderful it is to lose all that drama! I am thrilled to see adults running America again. Fantastic post and gorgeous pictures. It’s just lovely gathering the seeds for spring sowing isn’t it? I check mine every day trying to decide what to sow first. I hope you get you jabs soon, we’ll have to wait a few months yet but there is a light at the end of the tunnel now. I can’t wait to go somewhere! Love and hugs to you all.xxxx

    1. Oh, I know…traveling anywhere seems so appealing! That’s really been hard, staying home and never seeing anyone. And I know it might be another 9 months of this till enough adults are vaccinated, but it’s coming and we can do it. I’m hoping families will be able to be together at Christmas!

      I love seeds and planning for gardening, yes…it’s all so exciting every year to speculate what new designs will work…and laugh at the flops and love the surprises…can’t wait. 🙂

      Love to all: Stay safe and well! xoxoxo

  2. I’m so glad I found you. I resonate deeply with what you write about and what you see with your heart and your eyes and all of your senses. In my cozy home in the Midwest, I look around and feel comforted by the touches I’ve created which give me a sense of peace. These things we do have great meaning to our soul in the daily and ordinary times, but bring so much to us especially as many live alone like I do.
    I have learned that for my soul to feel like all is right, I must have words, I must have beauty and I must have the sky and air on my face.
    Without leaving my chair as I have my morning coffee, and before I go out for my walk and about my daily rounds, I can begin to have all of the above by reading your words and seeing your photographs.
    I take pictures of light and what I think of the miraculous things and post them on my Facebook account at http://www.Nancyontheradio. I’m so glad to meet you.

  3. Thank you so much for writing and sharing, Nancy, and for your very kind words. I agree with you and Mr. Tolstoy that it doesn’t take much to make me happy, but the list is specific regarding what does. 🙂 And it always includes music, nature, books, kind companions and being one myself, and satisfying creative work, followed by sweet rest. And chocolate.

    I will look for your page on Facebook, Nancy; it sounds like a healthy and inspiring place to visit.

    I so appreciate your visit and the time you took to comment so generously. Stay well and safe, Nancy, and great gentle peace to you. Kitty

  4. You have such a gift in your photography, Kitty. I’m enjoying it all, but can’t help but notice the pattern pieces. I am sometimes drawn to such things in my own life, subtle ways things cast odd shadows or light falls on something unexpectedly. I don’t always have my camera or phone handy, but I appreciate what you see.
    Yes, the absence of drama is wonderful, the lack of compulsion to see what insanity was now being paraded before a frightened (or frighteningly welcoming) American public. Definitely a calmer life. Tx for writing what so many of us feel.

  5. Thank you, Jeanne. I guess I’ve always been drawn to pattern and, frustrated visual artist that I am, it probably does come through in my decorating and photography: How kind of you to notice.

    I watched our new President in Milwaukee this week and could not believe how “embraced” I felt by his intelligence, compassion, and lovely mix of strength and humility…it’s startling how quickly we were robbed of those qualities with the last guy and how jarring–in a good way–it is to encounter them again. Now we know how fast it can change. Yikes.

    Yes, Calm is healthier. 🙂

    Joy to your week’s end, Jeanne. xoxoxo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s