Monday, February 11, 2013

A useful practice...

I stepped out the door this morning and was assaulted by the noise. The blissful quiet after Blizzard Nemo was wonderful, but it has passed us by. With no one on the road and barely anyone moving anywhere over the weekend, it was so quiet, and now all I can hear is the scraping of plows, the noise of the train yard and the hum of the highway, which on a winter day, with no leaves on the trees, combine and sound like an airplane.

It’s the trade off. I enjoy living in the city. We can do most anything we need to in our small house and yard. I not-so-patiently await the growth of our fruit trees to absorb the sound a bit more in summer, but this winter is noisy.  For a few days I forgot about it, snuggled in the house, with the new windows we had installed, oblivious to the world around us. Once in awhile, our dog will bark because he hears a noise outside, and if we are really quiet, we can hear a neighbors’ dog or people walking by. Otherwise, it is a quiet refuge.

Sometimes I do think of living in a more rural area, with more land, but I am not satisfied that I have given this a sufficient try. It’s only our 2nd year with a wood stove, garden beds, energy efficient windows, etc. and I would like to see where it leads. I want to continue on and see how far we can take this. We lessen our requirements (spending and possessions), recycle, create a refuge in the city, and work toward living sustainably. I hope someday to learn enough to help others do the same.  For now I will be grateful for what the city offers: living close to work and having a short commute, everything we need within walking distance, family nearby, utilities that rarely shut off, and a beautiful city to live in.

In my mind I retreat to the woods and seek that quiet place inside. With the right practice and meditation, I can sometimes counter the abrasive part of the city around me and find the peace within myself that enjoys being present today and doesn't wish for tomorrow. A useful practice for February and the near-end of winter when most of the days have been gray and cold.

Just about this time, the ordering of seeds, trees and new plants starts and so the dreams of spring begin. If you are feeling like I am, a little restless and needing some long hours of light, hold onto spring in snows of February, but don't forget to live the winter too. Soon there will be flowers again, and we will turn our faces toward the sky, put our hands in the soil, and rejoice with the first seeds that sprout. We will walk in warm spring rains, shedding the dark layers of winter clothing and we will stop mourning the sun who day by day returns to us.

It is how this circle works. Just when we get to the point where we think we cannot stand another day of winter, the first Robin appears and just like that, spring is here. And by the end of summer we will start dreaming again of cold winter nights with fresh bread and stews and sitting by the fire. 

This is New England and why I live where I live and why I love it so much. On days like today, it just takes a little more to focus on what really matters and a little more effort to remember that we are in a constant state of change and what seems like an end is usually a new beginning...

Butterfly Museum 

1 comment:

  1. So true about the robins and spring.... We live outside the city but are still plagued with noise and close neighbors. We also dream of a larger piece of property but are enjoying "trying out" a simpler more self-reliant life.