Last week was spent in New Hampshire visiting family, friends, and an inspiring artist mentor whose work I love. On Father’s Day I began coming down with a cold, most likely due to the fast pace I had been keeping for the several weeks before the trip. By Tuesday afternoon it was clear that I had to slow down and rest and take care of myself, so I canceled a couple of commitments and cozied down.
We own a condominium in southern New Hampshire, and early Wednesday morning I was up sitting on our small back deck which looks out over a lovely green lawn with tall woods behind it. The humidity hadn’t yet infused the air, and there was a soft breeze blowing through the trees. I sat happily on the wicker rocker in my pajamas, listening to the birds singing and being simply appreciative of this beautiful morning and my warm cup of coffee.
And then I noticed it.
I noticed that I was completely happy doing absolutely nothing, being present to what I was witnessing, a scene that was always there, always steady and reliably the same save for weather and light and sounds, but always there to listen myself into. And I noticed that I don’t allow myself very much to do absolutely nothing. And I noticed how healing it was, how rejuvenating, in the midst of feeling crummy, I felt rejuvenated by allowing myself to do nothing. It was so freeing. This is what I was working so hard to experience but I was always too busy to experience it and it was always available. It was a truly inspired moment.
The biggest awakenings happen with the least fireworks.
“If you can find a moment to sit, wherever you are, stay there and enjoy doing nothing. … Don’t allow yourself to be carried away by your thinking, worries, or projects. Just sit there and enjoy doing nothing: enjoy your breathing and the fact that you are alive and that you have 20 minutes or half an hour to enjoy doing nothing. This is very healing, transforming, and nourishing.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh