Sitting Quietly, Doing Nothing

I can sit quietly and observe what is there in front of me for a long time and be very happy. I can sit and think of many things; don’t ever imagine that I must be bored or want to be doing something else; I don’t understand how people can be bored when there is so much around us and within us to occupy our minds. Doing something doesn’t have to mean being physically active or always being engaged in some visibly apparent endeavor. I am very much doing something when I am sitting, looking, thinking, remembering, planning, imagining, hearing–all those activities and more are part of being and being fully present and engaged with life and the world around me. That engagement, that appreciation of all that is around me, that being fully within it and a part of it is what brings me joy. When I am quiet, when I am still, when I may appear to be doing nothing, that is what I am most often doing–I am being here and now in this moment, fully experiencing it. That is what I want to do in every moment, whether there is physical activity happening or not.

A Place To Be

I longed for a place away from the city, away from crowds of people rushing about, away from traffic, away from noise and pollution, just away. It wasn’t that I didn’t like cities and people. I just wanted to be able to interact with them on my own terms, how and when I wanted to be with them. I wanted time apart from them, time to be on my own, time to interact with myself.

I’ve always loved being out in the woods by myself. During my pre-teen years, back in the time when kids were allowed go out and play, finding their own entertainment and activities, I would spend hours wandering in the wooded areas near our home that had not yet been replaced by subdivisions. I could explore and think and observe and create. It was wonderful.

So when we decided to make our big move, to leave the city and jobs and friends and family, we moved to the country, to a place set apart from the things we wanted to leave, to a place with open spaces and woods, a quiet place at the end of a yet-to-be-built road. We listened often to the lyrics of the song sung by Helen Reddy with their special meaning just for us:

What would they say
If we up and ran away
From the roaring crowds
And the worn out city faces
Would they carry on and on
When they found out we were gone
Or would they let us go
Would they tag along
Or would they know to

Leave us alone
We’d live in the country
Leave us alone
We’d make it just fine
Happy in a one room shack
And we’d not look back
Now would we

To some family and friends it was a strange and unexpected move. Their questions reflected their puzzlement. What was there that we were going to? As far as they could see there was not much to draw us to this piece of land seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Why go there? What will you do with 9+ acres of land with nothing on it except fields and woods? Some of them eventually came to understand what we saw here. Some unfortunately never realized why we came. But we knew all along. It was and is a place to live simply but well, a place to learn and grow, a place to be the people we wanted to be.