By DS Briggs
When in Switzerland I wandered into a large ornate cathedral. The choir was singing. The voices soared with the organist’s notes. I didn’t understand the language but sitting in the back pew I felt entranced and relaxed.
I live with a lot of silence within my home. I don’t usually have the radio, tv or music as background. I don’t know why. Habit? Or just a need to keep calm.
I have experienced calmness in walking outdoors. I was on the dog path, walking Boo. I heard a splash in the creek. I saw a pair of ducks swimming, dipping and eating with their bottoms-up. I took time to watch how the sunlight dappled the creek and how the brilliant red-leafed tree stood out from the myriad of greens and browns. I just stood, leash in hand, and looked. I enjoyed the calm while I watched the ripples of circles the ducks made. It was a great moment to just be in the now.
Other examples of this quiet-calm have been in walking with large, huge trees. I first noticed my heart quieting and healing when I camped in Sequoia National Park. Closer to home I found time in Armstrong Redwoods provided similar feelings to Sequoia until our most recent wildfire destroyed many of the trees.
I find more calming and quiet healing in the mountains than at the ocean. Although the waves moving in and out are mesmerizing, I don’t experience the same calming quiet that mountains provide.
Sheltering in place because of Covid, I could not go to the mountains. My experiences of quiet-calm came, however, when I would sit outside in the early morning before leaf blowers or phone calls. I just watched the birds flit . . . while sipping coffee from a warm mug in my bathrobe. Bliss.
DS Briggs writes and resides in a small cluttered kingdom, with a gigantic dog. She discovered joy in writing while in elementary school. A brief stint as a newspaper reporter while in high school, DS thought journalism would be her college major. However, her writing career stalled in college when she realized she hated analyzing comma placement and switched to social science. DS became an elementary school teacher and later specialized in teaching independent travel skills and braille to students with visual impairments. Retired now, DS has returned to her love of writing thru Marlene Cullen’s Jumpstart Writing Workshops.