Quiet Moments

My sweet friend, thank you for your visit today. I know this is one busy, frantic, crazy world out there, and so I appreciate you coming to spend a moment with me. It’s my hope that this is a quiet moment, and one in which we can both take a much-needed breath and just *be* …if only for a small amount of time.

August has come and for us out here on the prairie, it is a time of transition. Soon it will be my mama’s birthday, and a few days after that the kids will return to school. We will all suddenly get our acts together (well, here’s hoping!) and get on a schedule and the clockwork of a new school year will begin ticking away.

But until then….lets enjoy the calm before the storm, shall we?

A beautiful domestic scene inside the Jabob Wittemore House, which is part of the Patriot Trail within the Minute Man National Park. This house is now open to visitors and often staffed with living history interpreters, a wonderful place to visit!

Last week I was thrown off my routine by having to have a tooth pulled and then having the rest from the exhaustion of it! It was really a quick and relatively painless endeavor, but something about it just knocked the stuffing out of me, as it were….for a good day or two. My body insisted it needed rest— and also several episodes of Father Brown and some Jane Austen movies to properly convalesce.

My instinct was to push through and get up and get on with things, as there was, as usual, too much to do. But I decided to reign myself in and let myself have the rest I evidently needed….and the next day I was much better.

The whole scenario got me thinking about how much more ‘pro-rest’ people used to be in the olden days…..there were often times and scenarios when people would take to their beds. Sometimes for days or even weeks at a time.

At Hunter’s Home in Tahleqah, where I volunteer as a living history interpreter, we have the bed of the ‘Lady of the House’ in one of the parlors. Poor Minerva Murrell was sick for several years from Malaria (and probably the ‘medicine’ she was given to cure it as well) and spent the last few years of her life bedridden. However, she still wanted to be part of family life, so her grand beautiful bed was brought down to what essentially was the ‘living room’ in her 1840s home. And from her bed, she was part of family life.

In this modern era, however, we hardly allow ourselves a day of rest or recuperation….I think with my first child I was up and out the door within 24 hours of having her— which wasn’t the best decision. With our second baby I at least insisted on an extra night of rest and watching, and our nursing routine and ease into home life went much, much better.

An exterior view of the Jacob Wittemore house in Concord, MA

I feel like we as people, as a nation, as a world, could do with some rest….we need to let our minds rest— heal, rejuvenate. There is nothing wrong with taking time to care for yourself— and that’s a lesson I am always relearning myself.

If we are rested, we make better decisions….we don’t lose our cool….and we can listen and speak critically and calmly. All these things seem to be in such short supply, these days, don’t they?

My original painting “Autumn Comfort”

As we begin a new week, I know you, like me, probably have a long list of things to get done. There are times when I look forward to Mondays, and others when it feels like ‘day one of the gauntlet.’ If that second feeling is what you have on your plate right now, take a deep breath and just take things one. steo. at. a. time. That’s what I will keep reminding myself.

Take your time. Don’t rush. Take pleasure in your tasks. Understand that its ok to work on silence, to unplug. Do something repetitive that lets your mind rest. Even if its the dishes. Or folding napkins. Or feeding animals. Or weeding the flower bed. These are all tasks that need to be done. We might as well use them to help sooth our weary hearts.

A peek inside the beautiful home of Rebecca Nurse in Danvers, MA., which is now a museum

When I post again I will have more work to show you, as slowly but surely— I finish up creating for the autumn open house. THEN, it will be time to start on Christmas art! But I will remind myself too, one step at a time…..

Til then, take comfort, take comfort, and most of all–

Take Joy,

H

4 thoughts on “Quiet Moments

  1. How is it that getting quiet and allowing ourselves to recharge is so difficult to do? Children can rest and amuse themselves quietly without thinking about it. I think as we grow older, we are more aware of problems and potential problems. Our minds grow full of what ifs and have to dos without our even realizing it all. Then all of a sudden, we are choking with the feeling that we cannot get off the merry-go-round! I remember my mother telling me to take things one step at a time and not get ahead of myself. How did I grow up and not keep that front and center in our fast paced era?

    I agree with you that sometimes we can only regroup when we withdraw, unplug, or fill time with simple tasks. Reading is one of my best paths to unplugging from chaos. There are so many lovely books out there to read and I especially love anything that is historical or culturally focused. Thankfully, books are free and available at our library. Now to NOT get so many books that it creates frenzy trying to read them all!!

    Come Autumn Come!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a lovely reminder! I found the same to be true after having babies – with our first, I was up and going too fast afterwards, & I think that slowed down the recovery process a lot. With our second, I remember the midwives telling me their postpartum rule of thumb: “3 days in bed, 3 days on the bed, 3 days near the bed.” And it seemed like that made a huge difference! Isn’t it funny, though, that it’s almost like I needed them to tell me to take it slow and rest, instead of just telling myself that?!

    I feel like in modern society, we need to give ourselves permission more often to have true rest & rejuvenation. We tend to go at a crazy multitasking speed, and when we “rest”, it’s not really restful, it’s more distraction – ie zipping through social media instead of letting our minds experience quiet. And finding space & time for rest takes cultivation – it’s something I have to work at every day, since it’s easy to let it fall by the wayside.

    Thank you for a beautiful reminder and for always campaigning for a gentler, slower lifestyle!

    Like

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