I’m blessed with a small kidney-shaped pool in our back yard where I like to escape from my noisy day. It won’t host the epic pool party, but it’s a cool refuge in the dog days of summer after a long day of activities. Retirement from a career of teaching doesn’t mean I’m ready for the rocking chair on the porch.
Well. Maybe I need to find a better metaphor since I do in fact spend a lot of time in a rocking chair on the porch. The point I was going for is that I am still very much active — just not in a 9-to-5 model.
I’ve exchanged faculty meetings for volunteer meetings and teaching classes of students for leading retreats of women. My days, it seems, are as noisy as ever.
Relaxing in the back yard is more than a break — it’s a much-needed mini-retreat to disconnect from all the electronic demands on my time, from text messages, to Skype meetings, to the intrusive notifications from social media. Even the white noise of the air conditioning in the house grates on my nerves.
I’m not escaping sounds as I lie peacefully on my float, gazing at treetops and clouds. My back yard is a living concert, a cacophony of different bird calls, the rustle of leaves in the trees, and the gentle lapping of bay waters on the rocks. It’s noisy, to be sure, but soothing.
In this different noisy place I can find the silence that rests my brain from the busy stimuli. I find rest in God’s beautiful creation, silencing the activity in my brain so I can listen with my heart.
Where do you find peace in the midst of your day? In a cozy reading nook? The kitchen table? In the car?
Copyright 2017 Maria Morera Johnson