Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sometimes You Need Stillness and Calm

Some days I am so filled with the horrors of the world that I just withdraw from it.  I reflect on the things that I am so grateful for and the beauty that surrounds me.  Sometimes it's as simple as watching the bare branches clipped from our Forsythia and brought inside to open.

The Forsythia is rooting in the water.  The buds have fully blossomed.
 I will transplant it when the frost danger is over.
You can fill your yard with this lovely plant in this manner.

The quote on the plaque reads:
The South
The place where...1. Tea is sweet and the accents are sweeter   2. Summer starts in April
3.  Macaroni and cheese is a vegetable  4.  Front porches are wide and long
5.  Pecan pie is a staple  6.  Y'all is the only proper noun  7.  Chicken is fried and
biscuits come with gravy  8.  Everything is Darlin'  9.  Someone's heart is always being blessed.

The carving above the plaque is a dogwood limb.  Our State flower.  And don't try to tell us that the Dogwood is a tree.  Our State tree is the pine. The dogwood blossom is our flower.

I get a great deal of pleasure in watching our birds.  Every now and then we see birds that are common to our area but not commonly seen at our house.  Such is the Yellow-throated Warbler.  Those sightings give me peace of mind.

Yellow-throated Warbler in our tree

Then he actually hopped onto the deck.  What a treat.

Another way I find stillness and calm is with music.  I recently purchased a set of really good wireless headphones.  I've never been fond of earbuds, not even the newer ones.  With the very comfortable earphones I can move around without being tethered to my iPod.  And they are so perfectly noise-reducing, I can listen to music while my husband is watching television.

I find stillness and calm in knitting.  There is something very pleasing about seeing something start from a ball of yarn and turn into something beautiful.  Like this (poorly photographed) yellow baby blanket.  I'm not creative at all, but knitting a complex scarf or a simple blanket makes me feel as if I have created something.  (Never mind that it came from someone else's creative pattern)  I'm sure it must be a fraction of what writers, potters, and other artisans feel when they complete their works.

And I find stillness and calm with books.  They take me totally away from all the troubled times and worries about our Nation and our world.  Right now I am reading the memoir of one of my favorite writers, Lee Smith.

I am loving this book for many reasons.  Smith grew up in a small mountain town much like my own hometown.  She grew up in a time when children's activities were not scheduled all summer but they were allowed to roam freely and make their own fun.  So did I and those times are gone forever.  Her writing is always strong and she tells her story in an interesting manner.  So this book gives me stillness and calm as well.  No suspense, no intrigue, no twisting plots.  Just excellent writing.  My only criticism is that it's over far too soon, leaving me wanting more.

I hope that you can find things that give you stillness and calm.

Our thoughts go out to all those who suffered in any way from the Brussels attacks.  And to the refugees who are dying by the hundreds trying to escape terrorism.  And to all those in need no matter why or where they are.


Mary Lee said...

I'm so glad the book didn't disappoint!

What is that saying. . . ? When the world wearies and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden.

So, so true!

Ms. A said...

Love you warbler and the yellow blanket! I don't do a darn thing creative anymore. *sigh

Ms. A said...

Oops... your.

Nance said...

I love the Theme Of Yellow in this post.

Like you, I am trying to find a way to escape so much Ugliness in the world at present. I don't want to embrace ignorance, but I feel so inundated with everything. (And my television--which is antenna only--is off all day until 5 pm!)

Lowcarb team member said...

I do agree, sometimes when the world gets madder by the moment and we see and read about terrible things we do need to take a moment of calm and thanks. Perhaps an extra hug to our loved ones ...

I love your yellow theme here, and along with yellow daffodils, I've always liked the yellow of forsythia.

The photo's of the warbler are just lovely too.

All the best Jan

Arkansas Patti said...

Lately with all the violence, anger and plain meanness, we all need a place to leave it all behind.
You have chosen some great ways to de-stress.
Love that plaque. It made me smile which is always a great tension reliever. I too was fortunate enough to have been a free range child. Sadly those days are gone but the memories are still fresh.

Ginnie said...

My favorite respite is within the pages of a good book. I also take joy in painting and, believe it or not, I love my buzzards who have come back this year. There must be at least 30 of them and I love to watch them catch the breeze and take off in bunches in the morning. We MUST learn to live together in this world or we are doomed.

The Bug said...

I hate wearing headphones - I'd love to know what kind you got. Maybe I'd like them better. I recently bought a cute little speaker to carry around so I don't need headphones - but that only works if Mike isn't home :)

That blanket is gorgeous! It does bring satisfaction, doesn't it?

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Mary Lee - Yes, and the garden, or in our case the yard

Ms. A - thanks

Nance - Thanks. I didn't notice the yellow theme until I started the post. In fact I swapped out a photograph of a blue baby blanket I had made and put in the yellow one I also made. Sometimes I do wish I could embrace ignorance. It might make life happier.

Jan - You are so right. We never know what's going to happen to any of us.

Patti - Not even my children were free-range. But it was a great childhood indeed.

Ginnie - Yes, we must learn. We have a lot of turkey vultures and I do love seeing them making their circles in the air.

Bug - I bought the over-the-ear Studio Beats by Dr. Dre. They are really pricey. I could have found some not so expensive that would have worked just fine for me. But I happened to have my husband with me and he insisted I "deserve" these. I'd suggest that you go to Best Buy or other store with demos so you can try the on-th-ear and the over-the-ear types. There are some really good ones that are not as expensive as the Beats.

The blanket is actually more attractive than the photograph. The recipient sent me photographs of the baby wrapped in it and it looked so cute. Very easy pattern.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks for sharing the things that bring you pleasure and calmness into an often chaotic world.
I miss seeing the forsythias that were the first vloomers in our VA yard. I have been considering good wireless earphones as well. As you said, good ones can be pricey but worth it if they bring you relaxation.