Tag Archives: quiet

We need quiet

“Others inspire us, information feeds us, practice improves our performance, but we need quiet time to figure things out, to emerge with new discoveries, to unearth original answers.” ― Ester Buchholz Of all the seasons, winter seems most linked with quiet; short days, long nights, the silence of snowfall and the calming blank canvas of …

Continue reading

Beautiful and joyful

“Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying.  The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.” — Elise Boulding …

Continue reading

Pleasure in the pathless woods

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more…”  —Lord Byron There’s something very calming about nature that neutralizes the toxic overload of a …

Continue reading

Your message

“If you want to get your message across, shut up.” — Mardy Grothe I don’t take this advice nearly as often as I ought to, but today, I get it.  I schedule these posts about two weeks in advance, so I have no idea how I’ll be feeling when this post is published.  But right …

Continue reading

Enter this wild wood

Stranger, if thou hast learned a truth which needs No school of long experience, that the world Is full of guilt and misery, and hast seen Enough of all its sorrows, crimes, and cares, To tire thee of it, enter this wild wood And view the haunts of nature…  — William Cullen Bryant The poem from …

Continue reading

Clarity from stillness

“If water derives clarity from stillness, how much more so does the mind!” — Zhuangzi In a recent post, I discussed the fascination of watching moving waters.  But still waters are captivating as well, particularly when they mirror beautiful scenery. Stillness is a trait that doesn’t come naturally to me.  Even when my body is not …

Continue reading

Going to the desert

“Modern life is becoming so full that we need our own ways of going to the desert to be relieved of our plenty.” – Thomas Moore The first time we ever drove across the United States en route to our new home in California, we thought we were making pretty good time when we arrived in …

Continue reading

The best kind of friend

“The best kind of friend is the one you could sit on a porch with, never saying a word, and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you’ve had.” — Author Unknown As much as I enjoy talking (OK, no wisecracks here) I have to admit that an amiable silence is also one …

Continue reading

A garden and a library

“He who has a garden and a library wants for nothing.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero Several weeks ago one of our readers sent me this quote, and I immediately thought “That would make a great post for the blog.”  What makes the quote so appealing is that most people can have at least a small library and …

Continue reading

Delicate enjoyment

“Another novelty is the tea-party, an extraordinary meal in that, being offered to persons that have already dined well, it supposes neither appetite nor thirst, and has no object but distraction, no basis but delicate enjoyment.” — Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin Whatever else can be said of contemporary culture, it seldom suggests “delicate enjoyment” or for that …

Continue reading

The incubator of the spirit

“The great omission in American life is solitude; not loneliness, for this is an alienation that thrives most in the midst of crowds, but that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incubator of the spirit.” — Marya Mannes I relish solitude, but loneliness is one of the most …

Continue reading

Solace in the seedlings

“…all of this time in the garden is stolen, snatched away from other priorities that clamor for attention before or after hours: family, meals, reading, household chores. This clamor is barely audible to the commuter gardener, though, for he has found his solace in the seedlings and flowers and fruits that come from the bits …

Continue reading

The last refuge

“I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.” — Oscar Wilde I know very few people who do not lead complex lives, and most of us yearn for simplicity.  Yet the complexity is also a blessing; a rich fabric woven with countless threads that add color, durability or utility.  Thus I …

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

While time stands still

“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still.” — Rachel Cohn As I write this, snow is covering the ground for the second time in the past month. Two snows BEFORE Christmas? Unprecedented in the life of this southern woman. And very unusual for northern …

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

Of reflection

“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.” — Winston Churchill  Merry Christmas! Chances are, this will be a busy day for you, coming on the heels of a busy season. For most of my adult life, it was that way for me, anyway. I love the Christmas season, with all the festive activities and joyful sharing. But it can …

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

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

The quiet of power

…slow things are beautiful: The closing of day, The pause of the wave That curves downward to spray, The ember that crumbles, The opening flower, And the ox that moves on In the quiet of power.    – Elizabeth Coatsworth Recently I read a book that discussed the pervasive effects of technology on how we …

Continue reading

By the window

What life can compare to this? Sitting quietly by the window, I watch the leaves fall and the flowers bloom, As the seasons come and go.     — Hsueh-Tou Don’t you love sitting quietly by a window?  I don’t make enough time for it.  I always find it calming; the combination of sunlight (or moonlight) and …

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