Peace and Quiet #notquiteaslice
October 9, 2019
After the rush of September, I revel in the disruptions of October. October full of holidays lets us ease into fall quietly, taking each of these days to revel in peace and quiet. With three days off in two weeks, there is no rush to complete projects or use the days all that wisely. We can casually mark the time in whatever way fills us. As my friend told me the other night over dinner, we can fill the time with things that bring us joy. Perhaps what brings us joy in these quiet days is completely different that what we might consider in our normal day to day.
My normal day to day is fairly atypical. While I have regular types of meetings and duties on a daily or weekly basis, my day can vary greatly from Monday to Tuesday and so on. One thing remains constant. The days are full of talk, talk between adults, talk between adults and children, and talk between children. Full, full of talk. The talk is wonderful, stimulating, exciting and necessary. I process many things through talking and doing. For the most part it works out ideally, a varied day full of conversations moving us all forward in our work. Very satisfying.
But then, I have a day alone. A day with completely my own agenda, my own timetable, my own dress code. I don’t notice it at first. The regular morning routine applies. Dog walking, lunch making, coffee brewing, quick calls, checked email. Suddenly everyone has left and it settles in… the peace and quiet.
Sometimes I linger in it, pajamas on, additional cups of coffee, a little reading. Sometimes I jump into it, cleaning out this or that, emptying the refrigerator. Even in that jump, I feel peaceful.
Today, I choose a few ‘start’ items that came to me. I cleaned out last month’s magazines, looking at pages, reading articles, moving them to my husband’s reading bin or my book bag to share with someone at work. When I took those magazines out to our recycling bin, I swept the leaves out of the garage and trimmed a few rose bushes while I was out there. When I trimmed the rose bushes, I cut a few hydrangea blossoms as they show their fall colors, less bright, tinged in the softness of fall. I took the dog for a walk and it struck me then. I feel differently. I’ve let myself relax in a completely different way. The feeling isn’t quite my summer feeling, but it feels comforting like the sweater I toss on to move around outside.
Inside, I turn on some ‘ambient’ music on the television. A slideshow and soft music fills the house. I turn on the table lamps. I consider adding to the hygge by baking some bread or sweet filling the house with comforting smell along with the sound and light.
We have heard all the research about our hectic education days. We are compared to air traffic controllers with decision making. We know that the days are full and busy and hectic and loud.
So when our bonus days of October are finished next month, let’s consider how to add peace and quiet to the lives of our learning community… in pockets. A read-aloud to consider simple predicting or retelling. A short movie clip to give the work life in another way. A few stolen minutes to draw or color something for our latest writing. A chance for quiet conversation. Looking around our spaces and asking ourselves where can we all visually rest here, physically rest, spiritually rest. Let’s make time to enjoy the peace and quiet in our home nest and the nest we create at school.