Monday, July 23, 2012

Breaths in the quiet

I sit down to write and it is dusk outside, quiet and still inside. I can occasionally hear the puttering of my husband as he works to build the pig shelter for our soon-to-arrive newest addition to our property. Little M is either sound asleep or near enough there. I have the house to myself for at least a little slice of time until it gets full dark or my husband gets frustrated with the logs he's assembling into the shelter. It is times like this that I miss when our family's schedule changes. As I become used to a schedule, I learn what time of day I can find tucked away moments like this, where the house is still, where I can breathe and relax and feel the tension flowing out of me.

I am a creature of quiet. I crave it. I go slightly crazy without regular doses where the loudest noise is the wind through the trees. Or the chirping of the birds. Or the fridge. Yeah, I can usually make do with the fridge, if it's that time of day where I really need to be inside, near to my likely-asleep small child. Or if it's the depths of the dark winter.

I think it's one of the reasons why I've done so well moving across the country for grad school while doing field work in the woods 7 days a week for months and months and months on end, and later moving down into a new country and living out near the end of a seasonally dead-end road. I not only enjoy, but need, that quiet. Now don't get me wrong, I love and also need social hour, just maybe not quite as often as most people have it in their lives.

The quiet rejuvenates me. Whether I get it inside when the house is still and quiet, or whether I get it outside on a walk through the woods and hills. It fills me up. Especially when I'm running on near-empty, but even when I'm doing just fine, nothing completes me like a span of quiet time.

For me, when my husband or daughter are around, regardless of what they are doing, I tend to stay busy. Between spending quality time with my family, keeping them fed & clean, keeping the house clean & tidy, keeping up with things around the property, or even just busy work on the computer, I rarely sit down and relax when there are other people around. I suspect a bit of that is because when Little M is around, I can hardly sit down without her coming over and climbing all over me, or convincing me to come sit by her and do something with her, not that I really ever mind!

But it means that I need spaces of quiet in the house to just sit down and be myself. Read a book. Write. Think. Plan. Dream. Basically take my head out of the moment-to-moment of mothering a small child, running a household, keeping ahead of the weeds, and be able to stretch my brain a bit. Breathe in and out, and remember a broader world, bigger goals than those of the current hour, current day.

So tonight I squeezed in some quiet time. And between making a cup of hot chocolate (yes, even in the heat of the summer, I'm just a hot chocolate kind of girl), sitting down with my current book, and breathing, I remembered. I need this quiet. I find it's way too easy to forget. So remember to get your fill-you-up. Whether it's quiet, or something else, just try and remember to squeeze it into your everyday, your everyweek, your everylife.


  1. Yes. Exactly, including the hot chocolate!

    Beautifully structured and written, too.

    1. Thanks Mary! Gotta have the hot chocolate :)

  2. OMGosh, katy, this is so true of me. I crave quiet when I don't get a daily dose. Thanks for the reminder that I deserve that bit o' quiet. Enjoy it, Momma, you deserve it too!


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