Vacation is here, a time to pause, refresh and rejuvenate both body and soul. There are many ways to do this. Perhaps you have planned a family trip, a time away from juggling work and family schedules. Perhaps you are writing “want to’s” instead of “have to’s” in your calendar. Maybe the greatest treat is a more leisurely start to the day without the “hurry up” ticking of the clock.
I look forward to some of these things, too; a trip to Washington, D.C. to see my children, the opportunity to go to a late movie in the middle of the week, and a slow start to the morning with a new Alexander McCall Smith book. But above all I look forward to quiet. For some people socializing with friends, sharing a sunny vacation with all the relatives, having a dinner party or gathering neighborhood families for a game of Monopoly recharges the batteries. For me quiet is truly relaxing and restorative. No music, no television, no conversation.
I collect bells, which I hang in the trees near the windows, on random doorknobs and from hangers where I will brush against them. When I hear them ring, my attention is drawn to the sound and for just a few seconds my mind slows down. I am reminded to notice. I like to notice the odd sounds around the house – the heat coming on, the mail truck in the driveway, the woodpecker that insists on rapping on the wall. When I am quiet, I see and hear things that I miss in the busy workday.
So on vacation I will listen. I will savor quiet. I will think my own thoughts. My family would laugh in recognition to read this sentence! Find some quiet for yourselves; and if quiet doesn’t come naturally to your children, help them discover its benefits, also. Instead of packing each day with doing, set aside a little time to do nothing.
“Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about…
If poetry isn’t your thing, here is a favorite Ted Talk by Susan Cain author of Quiet ~ The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. You will need about 20 minutes to listen to this in its entirety.
A Paradox!! I know I just asked you to relax and now I ask you to make note of future events.
- 3/30 – School resumes following Spring Break
- 4/1 – Reception for newly accepted families 6:30-8:30 Healey Family Center for Innovation
- 4/10 – Grandfriends Visiting Day (Information in the DEN)
- 4/15 – Poet and Illustrator Douglas Florian visits Prek-3
- 4/21 – Dr. Michael Thompson on campus – speaking to all parents and faculty in the evening on The Pressured Child
- 4/21 – 1st Grade community service program at Allerton House
- 4/24 – Parent conferences NO SCHOOL for students PreK-3rd