A couple of days ago so much humidity came in through the windows on the stair landings, filling the stairwell, that one of the smoke detectors went off. Thankfully, I had been told of this happening once before when there was heavy fog. Still, there was a moment of being caught off guard, wondering.
A couple of nights after that, at 3:30 AM, the sound of a crash that woke me up from a deep sleep was significant. Once my hearing aids are out, anything I hear is likely significant.
Hopping out of bed and going window to window, I discovered that a huge, waterlogged limb from an over 100-year-old tree had crashed to the ground. That it missed the house is a miracle.
In between those two things was hearing about and seeing the devastation from the flooding in the Hudson Valley, the gorgeous geography of my childhood home. With that on my mind when awakened at 3:30, sleep stayed at a distance.
In the morning, I could feel my shoulders tighten up. My concentration for what had been on my list to do was off. The day felt out of sync, somewhat surreal, like a “no day” instead of a normal Monday.
I worry about other parts of the tree coming down before the arborist and his crew can take care of it.
And now I am away for the rest of the week except to duck in and out briefly each day to check on things.
I have, however, arrived at what feels like a magical well of peacefulness.
My shoulders have relaxed.
I am watching birds come and go from two feeders outside the windows, feeders I understand will be feasted at and empty by tomorrow. It will give me pleasure to refill them.
I am reminded of how many minutes I used to sit in silence and watch birds feed at various places I have lived.
The door to the yard here is open a bit, a screen netting blowing slowly back and forth in the breeze, dogs wondering in and out at will, and I wander in and out at will too.
After the raging storms of the past two days the sky is bright blue, and the sun is shining brightly.
This specific well of peacefulness is an entirely new place to me. It holds a change of space and of mind pace of which I am in need.
And two wonderful dogs.
Dog sitting for a week, a whole new experience, cat person that I am.
I already feel well loved and pampered by their attention. Their dog version of peacefulness is contagious.
And when they are not peaceful, well, there’s the paradox right? Peacefulness can be contained in people and places and things and situations that can also be unpeaceful. Interesting to muse about.
The piano I discovered beckoned me to sit down at the keys, something I have not done for at least several years, if not more. All the wonderful Broadway show sheet music has challenged my fingers.
There is, however, an amazing peacefulness as I allow myself to fully enter into the music, music having been my life for so many years.
I smile and try to ignore the lack of peacefulness anyone else listening would feel. “Rusty” barely describes the effect.
Supper and morning journaling and writing are enjoyed on the terrace, surrounded by day lilies, lots of yard, a wonderful old clothesline that brings back childhood memories, and a sense that in this moment, for these days, I belong here.
Wells of peacefulness hold many resources, some familiar and even universal.
At the same time, each one is a way to access aspects of peacefulness completely unique to the one who visits.
A wrap around embrace.
The devotion of animals and the songs and chatter of birds.
A new space and sense of place.
Writing words from the heart.
Picking up a book or piece of personal writing in which the pages touch the soul.
Running. Walking. Cycling. Dancing. Hiking. Swimming. Floating.
Eating in the fresh air.
Moments to dream, imagine and daydream.
_________________ Fill in your own.
With each dip into peacefulness, I am reminded of how many places and spaces and people and animals and nature and more are nourishing, sustaining, and calming.
Peacefulness that for a moment or an hour or perhaps far longer diminishes all that does not feel that way. It is an antidote.
May you saunter to the well and dip and dip and dip.
May you find or remember where gifts of peacefulness reside for you.
Know that the well is always waiting.
In case you are looking for some in this moment, I am sending a teaspoonful through the keys.
Carry it in your pocket or heart or mind or sprinkle it over others as you go about your day.