The sound of the rain, the quiet of the house. The urge to slow down, to sit and be still is normal. “It is a biological need. It is not laziness or a lack of ambition”… or drive. I read this a while back and have found myself repeating it, writing it and trying to live it. It has taken me a long time to surrender to this. Too long.
He Rarely Drops By
My dad had just dropped by to share some of our favorite sweet potatoes. Mississippi Red sweet potatoes are better than any variety. I’m certain of this. His friend brought him a crate full, so he wanted to share some with me. I was vacuuming when I saw his red Toyota drive up the hill of my driveway. My first reaction was “what is my daddy doing here?” and then my heart became warm. He rarely drops by unannounced, so this was good!
Too Long To Surrender
Why is it that I instantly fall into Martha mode? Even though I was already vacuuming, my mind took over and before I knew it, my brain had scanned the entire house. Was it clean? Had I made the bed? Shoot, I don’t even have tea made. We can sit in the kitchen; it is fairly clean. All of this in a matter of seconds. And this is one reason I say it has taken too long to surrender to slowing down. My daddy was here. There could be no better time to stop and be still. Our time is precious.
Time slows and we sit at the kitchen table talking. Nothing profound was discussed. No big plans were made. Just a simple conversation between two people who have been connected for a lifetime. There should be no guilt, no expectations, and no stress. For years I dreamed of having family and friends drop by midday. As a teacher, I never had time to expect this. Slowing down was not on my radar. Lately, it has become a natural occurrence. I believe this is what life is supposed to look like.
As he worked his way to the door, our conversation continued. Leaving and goodbyes typically last as long as the actual visit with our family. Is this a southern thing? Maybe it is just us. Either way, “I better get going” doesn’t mean right now. We still have stories to tell and questions to ponder. As we gravitate towards the door, the neighbors, our gardens and the weather must be discussed. Only then can anyone say goodbye. Today the central vac that came with our “new” old house stopped us short of goodbye. Turns out we have the same one as my parents and neither work very well. Novelty is the only thing keeping them on the wall. He uses his for peanuts and we never use ours at all.
It Is Quiet Again
The rain began to pepper down as I turned and waved one more time and headed back inside. The house is quiet again. I love the quiet. My world was so noisy for so long that now silence grabs me. It gets my attention daily and I savor it. I soak it up. I sit in it often. I’m embracing the idea that every minute of my day does not have to be filled with motion (this has not been an easy lesson). That life had its turn with me, and I do not wish to invite it back. It has taken me a long time to surrender to this. Too long.
It Has Taken Too Long
The sound of the rain and the quiet of the house lends themselves to fresh coffee. I make myself a small cup because, why not? The homemade pumpkin bread that my mom sent me home with on Sunday came to mind, I toast a slice and add sweet butter. I open the back door and listen to the steady rhythm of the rain. Unlike the weather which can cause fear, this rain is soothing. It calls me to slow down and be still. I am not lazy. I do not lack ambition. I have been blessed with quiet. With rain. With joy. It has taken me a long time to surrender to this. Too long.