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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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