You know I like the quiet. After all, the name of this entire blog is ‘The Quiet Life’ lol. After a noisy day at school there is nothing I enjoy more than to return to my haven, my Fortress of Solitude, and lower the Cone of Silence over it, and just bask in the peace.
Summers are even better, because School’s Out for Summer and I can regulate the noise input to my own standards. This is not an empty pursuit. I believe quietude is important.
A recent headline at Huffington Post caught my eye this week.
My grandmother was a pro at sitting and sipping a cup of coffee and looking out the window at the garden without any distractions or boredom. A skill I could really use…
We grew up in a 100 year old farmhouse. We moved into it sometime around 1962 or so. The farmhouse must have been built around 1860s. It was a small Cape Cod style house, with small rooms downstairs, two bedrooms upstairs, and a front porch. Each downstairs room had a fireplace in it, and the one in the living room also had a fireplace bread oven next to it. My father had hung two antique rifles over two of the fireplaces, the family room and the living room. We used the fireplaces a lot. It was New England, and it was a drafty house.
My English grandmother used to sit at the rocking chair in front of the roaring fire, gazing, thinking, and humming. She’d drum her fingers on the rocking chair arm and hum tunelessly and quietly. Even at my tender age, I’d marvel at her ability to just…sit and look and think.
When I read the sentence in the HuffPo article above, I remembered my grandmother.
A popular thing to do in Maine is sit in a lattice beach chair at the edge of the garage with the door open and just watch the street and goings by.
It is people sitting in their lawn chairs in their garages or outside their houses somewhere, watching the world go by and contemplating their navels. I can name four neighbors who do this. It really tickles me because the folks who practice this form of relaxation and retirement never seem to have a book, newspaper, or even an adult beverage, or anything else to occupy them as they while away the time.
Speaking of sitting and relaxing in the silence, I am reminded of Robert J. Lurtsema. For nearly thirty years, he was a radio personality on the classical station out of Boston. He was known for a deep rolling voice and long, long pauses as he spoke. He was also known for opening his program (Morning Pro Musica) with several minutes of bird song. It was called the Dawn Chorus and it was relaxing to hear the birds and the pauses and the quiet voice introducing beautiful music. In today’s rush-rush, impatient world, dawn birdsong choruses and lawn chairs in garages and humming tunelessly whiling away the time are things gone by…goodbye