Gentle, warm temperatures, a barely perceptible breeze, and a dappled lawn were my companions along with my two boys Sunday afternoon.
Norman inspires many of my leisurely as well as curiosity pursuits, and yesterday’s hour of leisure was prompted by seeing him find a spot in what I am calling my sunshine garden and just close his eyes and be still. Not necessarily napping until he did, he simply soaked up the moment.
Following his good example, I prepared Oscar a bed on the porch in the shade (his preference being a black pup and older, so needed some padding to rest upon as well), grabbed Beatrix Potter’s biography which I am savoring, and left a window open so I could enjoy the live performance of Yo-Yo Ma on YouTube, In Tribute, in which he played for hours to honor those the world has lost, the healthcare and essential workers as well as uplift us all. I layed upon the grass, half in shade and half caressed by the sunshine, and just lost track of time, savoring the moment.
As tempting as it has become for many of us especially in the states to venture out as though nothing has held us inside our homes for over two months, I have changed very little since Phase One began last week. Admittedly, a helpful influence to do so are moments such as the one described above.
An adjustment . . .
. . . for my mind has happened over all that we have been going through, and it is a letting go of many fears and worries (most initially unconscious at this point in my life, but some still conscious) of either living alone or slowing down or going about life in a way different than my either educational counterparts or neighbors or many fellow Bendites, or [fill-in-the-blank with anyone who imposes fear for not choosing their choice or way of life]. The gift it seems is a washing away of wasteless worries and having more energy to savor, to celebrate, to create, to establish, to cultivate a rich life of ideas, of community, of fulfillment defined by the needs that are real, not the needs assumed errantly.
Each of us will and does have our unique needs that require awareness as well as needs assumed errantly that we need to let go so that they do not weigh us down – in other words, so that we can live and live well. Savoring the life we love living.
A settling in . . .
. . . ushers in peace and calm into my days I have not experienced for I do not know how long. I will wake up mornings with the early dawn and birds chirping knowing that at least eight hours was given to restful sleep, and my smile is spontaneous and energy giddy to be tapped and expended for a enjoyable effort upon opening my eyes in all of this realization.
Having talked about this before when staying home began, slowing down, finding a steady pace as a way of going about our days, why not strive for this? Why not advocate for it? You are not alone for aching for it. I have a feeling many in TSLL community feel similarly. Compromise most assuredly will need to be reached, but again, there is a time to work tirelessly, but such a pace is only best when temporary in nature so that the awesomeness of the life we are living can been seen, savored and appreciated.
Longing . . .
. . . for physical touch, even the simple wanted brush of a hand from a loved one to a hug from a child or parent to a deeply felt kiss shared with a lover. Whether we have been living at home with someone or on our own, these are sensations and exchanges that have not dissipated regardless of the time in history. Perhaps, and as many of us are discovering, they are simply more appreciated, more deeply felt and a reminder of human connection being at the core of savoring life when times limit our ability to live freely. Of course, each of the experiences I shared are desired because of a far deeper connection beyond the surface. An emotional, time-spent-together enrichment of understanding and connection and one of invested caring, reaching out and loving in so many ways of thoughtfulness and care.
Loving . . .
. . . the discoveries and realizations of true kindred spirits, true beloved pastimes, that no matter what life reveals we must navigate through or around, such loves, such passions and interests, do not dissipate but in fact, often provides a deeper fulfillment than previously known. Such a discovery reminds us of the power of our decision to unearth our “loves” and pursue them, invest in them, protect them and revel in them.
Case in point, as I want to ease out of staying at home gradually, I am making sure my home continues to be a place I enjoy spending time at so I am planning and planting summer seeds, ordering a couple of books that I can begin reading when I finish Beatrix Potter’s biography and diving in resoluting to nudging (okay, more like pushing) my contractor to get the projects on my list done (which helps to motivate me to stay home as I want to take the time now to get the decision right that will last a lifetime potentially).
So it is perhaps a payment of gratitude to my Norman that I owe because it is in the slowing down, the savoring, the longing for human connection and the loving of my favorite pastimes that is making life and will continue to make life, daily life, a truly luxurious way of living.
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11 thoughts on “Adjusting, Settling In, Longing and Loving: Ingredients and Acknowledgement of Living Well”
As always Shannon your writing resonates deeply. Thank you for sharing.
Debbie (a follower for years but not much of a commenter!)
Thank you for your continued interest over the years Debbie. ?
Shannon, lovely post! If you love to read outside, you may want to consider investing in a hammock! It is a wonderful place to relax.
Me and mine(family and friends), have been lucky enough to have escaped the worst of the virus thus far. As you write so eloquently, the quarantine, for us, has become an opportunity for self-reflection. I’ve had so many friends, in some form,say: ” I know this is terrible, but..I really wish we don’t go back to what we were…”
For those of us who are plugging on relatively unscathed, we absolutely owe it to the frontline guardians, and blessed souls who have passed, to savor the sunshine, the sudden spot of rain and cold, a whiff of lavender or cut grass, a smile and quick chat from a perfect stranger(happening more now), and especially, the moments our “patience continues to be strengthened”? Lovely post, thank you Shannon.
Ah, thank you Rona. ?
I have always been a homebody and enjoyed time spent taking care of my home and the wee bit of gardening I do. And I love my children and grandchildren and the time spent with them. But every Wednesday for the past 25 years I have had lunch and played bridge with some lady friends whom I have not seen for over 2 months. To be truthful, we giggle and laugh out loud as much as we play cards though we do try to play seriously, too. We’ve texted and phoned but it’s not the same. I miss them terribly.
Alicia, I can only imagine. I hope you are able to meet with them in person soon and feel comfortable and safe doing so. It will be a joyous and most celebratory moment when it happens of that I have no doubt. 🙂
As always I find my thoughts running parallel to yours. I work in education, as a school librarian, so schools are closed but we are still trying to teach and find online resources for 2 million students until the end of June. As a librarian, I look forward to all of your book recommendations, so keep those coming. Like you, I choose to live alone and am quite happy with a solitary life. My two “boys” are a pair of feral cats I brought in over the winter. I also flip flop between loving Britain and loving France. These are some of the reasons your newsletters resonate with me. You remind me that if we seek peace and beauty, even in challenging times, we can either find them or create them and we should never stop trying. Stay well.
Nancy, Lovely to get to know you a bit. 🙂 You absolutely right and I appreciate you sharing this life truth, if we seek it and know how to find or create it, regardless of the times, i5 is possible to find it. Thank you and I will keep the book recs coming. ☺️?
Like you, I am an educator, so I have spent my spring working from home. I set myself up next to my dining room windows and had the sheer joy of watching spring unfold before me. Never before have I had the opportunity to slow down enough to watch my bushes slowly bloom and watch the the trees begin to unfurl their leaves. Every day I looked forward to seeing more green outside my windows. I have one more week of remote learning before summer vacation begins. Since we are still on stay at home orders, and likely will have ours extended at the end of the week, I decided to power wash my back patio, clean off the furniture and plant some flowers today. I’m looking forward to reading lots of books, hosting social distance lunches with friends, and taking the time to really pay attention to summer in my yard and garden this year. Thanks for the continued inspiration to slow down and just be.
Deb, It really has been a rare treat for those of us who cannot take vacations in spring to have this time that we may never have again (until we retire). You have adjusted well and I so appreciat3 your comment. 🙂