Tag Archives: calm

From the insistence

“Much of the bothersomeness of daily life arises not from circumstances themselves, but from the insistence that they ought to be other than they are.” – Oliver Burkeman When I read that quote, I was struck immediately with how truly it describes most of the stress I face each day. As far back as I …

Continue reading

Hints of gladness

When I am among the trees, especially the willows and the honey locust, equally the beech, the oaks and the pines, they give off such hints of gladness. I would almost say that they save me, and daily.    – Mary Oliver I had already begun putting this post together when I looked for a link …

Continue reading

Excitement and peace

“It was the sort of storm that rarely happened…and the steady white flakes, the silence, filled him with a sense of excitement and peace. It was a moment when all the disparate shards of his life seemed to knit themselves together, every past sadness and disappointment, every anxious secret and uncertainty hidden now beneath the …

Continue reading

Never far

“Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty.” —James Norwood Pratt It seems contradictory that a chatterbox such as I would love silence as much as I do, but there it is. Perhaps it comes of having lived with Jeff for so many years. Or perhaps, in …

Continue reading

Leisured coziness

“The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured coziness.” ― P.G. Wodehouse Autumn is a wonderful season for tea lovers, and “leisured coziness” is a …

Continue reading

Sometimes we do

Sometimes Sometimes things don’t go, after all, from bad to worse.  Some years, muscadel faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail, sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well. A people sometimes will step back from war; elect an honest man, decide they care enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor. …

Continue reading

Heart melodies

Bring me all of your dreams You dreamers, Bring me all of your Heart melodies That I may wrap them In a blue cloud-cloth Away from the too-rough fingers Of the world.  — Langston Hughes One great thing about dreaming, whether asleep or awake, is how portable it is. No place is more conducive to …

Continue reading

Anything valuable

“Anything valuable is going to take time. Be patient and tolerant with yourself and others.” — Alexandra Stoddard I think technology is training us to be impatient. Recently I turned on an old computer so I could use it while the one I typically use was in the midst of a lengthy maintenance procedure. At …

Continue reading

An obscure comfort

“It comforted her, in the confused unhappy welter of her emotions, to see the mountains always tranquil, remote, in their lonely splendour; untouchable, serenely inviolate. It was an obscure comfort to her to know that man’s hectic world wasn’t the only one — that there were others, where agitation and passion and bewilderment had no …

Continue reading

A thin stream of fear

“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” — Arthur Somers Roche Waterfalls start out a lot smaller and more quiet than they end up. If you’ve ever stood at the foot of a fairly large waterfall, you know the …

Continue reading

On foot

“Sickness comes on horseback, but goes away on foot.” — William Carew Hazlitt Seemingly out of nowhere, it hits– the devastating diagnosis, or the catastrophic accident, or the debilitating chronic pain– shattering the life of a loved one, or self.  Life changes– sometimes forever. We feel blindsided, helpless, resentful, afraid.  But somehow, we keep going. …

Continue reading

A sentinel all around

“…if we starve ourselves of mental junk and replace it with what is true, admirable, right, pure, beautiful, and attractive, peace will stand as a sentinel all around our feelings and thoughts, creating an impregnable fortress of calm and tranquility.” — David Murray Could you use some calm and tranquility right now? I know I …

Continue reading

One surge at a time

“The waves rolling in from the Atlantic today were high and white and threatening.  Then, later in the day, the ocean was suddenly very quiet again, very much itself and at peace with the world. I couldn’t help thinking what a life lesson there is in that kind of undulation, in that kind of natural …

Continue reading

Natural relief

“…if [cats] are content, their contentment is absolute; and our jaded and wearied spirits find a natural relief in the sight…” — Agnes Repplier What animal comes to mind when you hear these words: relaxed, languid, graceful, calm, serene?  For me, it’s always a cat. I’m a dog person through and through. I identify with …

Continue reading

A tree has something to say

“When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent.” — Hermann Hesse It would …

Continue reading

Be with yourself

“Children especially need solitude.  Solitude is the precondition for having a conversation with yourself.  This capacity to be with yourself and discover yourself is the bedrock of development.” — Sherry Turkle Much has been written about the changes technology is bringing to the way we relate to each other.  Does it connect us more closely, …

Continue reading

Of the soul

“Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Oddly enough, it’s my belief in the sentiment expressed here by Longfellow that underlies my enjoyment of visiting graveyards and cemeteries.  When one believes in the …

Continue reading

Softer and more beautiful

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ” ― Norman Vincent Peale When you think of the holiday season, what words come to mind?  I’m afraid that too often, we think of words such as busy, excited, rushed, tired, pressured.  But no matter how many activities …

Continue reading

Sit silently

“We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn …silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox.” ― Nicholas Sparks In keeping with the truth of this quote, …

Continue reading

Sometimes to go

“Oh, how one wants sometimes to go from such giftlessly high-flown, cheerless human wordiness into the seeming silence of nature, into the arduous soundlessness of long, persistent labor, into the wordlessness of deep sleep, of true music, and of a quiet, heartfelt touch grown mute from fullness of soul!”  — Boris Pasternak Probably nobody I …

Continue reading

Along the road

“I regret less the road not taken than my all-fired hurry along the road I took.” — Robert Brault As hard as it might be for some of us to believe this, if we live long enough we will look back on this particular time in our lives and miss at least a few of …

Continue reading

Tranquility within

“When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.”― François La Rochefoucauld We’ve all known people who are restless and never satisfied.  Often these types are blessed with better-than-average advantages in life, but they seem to end up agitated and critical no matter how many times they change …

Continue reading

The ideal of calm

“The ideal of calm exists in a sitting cat.” ― Jules Renard A year ago today, my post was about the exotic and mostly unknown world of undersea creatures.  Today I’m thinking of the wonders that are often hiding in plain sight, among animals we see so often that we scarcely notice them. Dogs, cats, …

Continue reading

The rest of the mind

“True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.” — William Penn I can’t remember anyone ever describing me as a quiet person, but even so, I am continually amazed at how noisy the world is becoming.  Jeff and I can hardly …

Continue reading

The strength of the sole

“When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the sole leather has passed into the fibre of your body.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson Lately I’ve not been able to walk as much as usual, and when I do walk, I notice there’s a difference to my typical rhythms and behaviors.  I’ve been walking …

Continue reading