Discernment in the Din

Image courtesy of: theconversation.com

The Secret of Change Is to Focus All of Your Energy, Not on Fighting the Old, But on Building the New~ Socrates

When I lived up North I never took the landscape for granted. In times of trouble, the view from my kitchen window or my upstairs bedroom created a soothing escape. Long expanses of green,wide open white, bold colors, or the gong of spring peepers-it didn’t really matter- each season offered a sight for my sore eyes, music for my ears, fresh air for my lungs and a slower beating for my heart. Now I have to work harder to find a quiet spot in the most densely populated area in the state.

I will admit that adjusting to my new physical surroundings has been one of the biggest challenges to living here. Strip mall landscapes replace the trees and swamps -ugly monstrosities offering plenty of nothing. Car dealerships, fast food joints, car washes, big box drug stores, coffee shops and fast food joints all competing with one another for your attention and hard-earned cash. And the signs! Oh the signs! I’ve told my husband that this area must be the only place where both strip clubs and churches use the same flashing neon advertisements. They’re completing distracting, flashy, and in no way enticing in their invitations to “Join us”.

I am unused to this cluttered busyness and heavy traffic stopping and starting along six lane boulevards. Of course, I would be giving a false impression in stating that the New England area lacks crowded highways and clogged main streets during peak travel times. But given where I worked and lived, those areas could easily be avoided and shortcuts were always available. Moreover, a trip to a more urban area or strip mall sprawl was an occasional occurrence.

I fear I will never adjust to the noise and traffic density beyond the walls of my house and its verdant park view. At times, I identify with the Grinch in the scene where he’s holding his ears as he thinks about the “Noise! Noise! Noise! from Whoville on Christmas Day. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsMlsDgMXJM)

Changing my mindset is the key to changing my attitude. Some of what I am currently experiencing is part of a universal adjustment to a very major life change. For now, I cannot change where I live. So I’ve tweaked my routine. I bookend my daily commute with quality music delivered by a hip local radio station.  My current occupation is located on a bucolic campus where the only sounds I hear are birds and the youthful loquaciousness of students. I get outside whenever possible. I have set goals to explore the local quiet spots and venture beyond my own environs to seek them out.  My husband and recently kayaked through some lush mangroves which offered comforting green tunnels,tranquil waters and a kind of hush that I haven’t experience since I moved here. Simply lovely!

Building a new life takes time. I will continue to miss key parts of living up North-my boys and closest friends, my faith community and the mountains. And when the need has arisen, I make a plan and get on a plane. I’m learning to trust the process and allow my new life to unfold and reveal itself.









2 thoughts on “Discernment in the Din

  1. It’s been awhile since I corresponded with you…and this so resonates with me. In decluttering my life, I too, had to move back to an area of “busy”-ness. It is so hard to take. Meditation, meditation, meditation. Ultimately, I’ve decided I HAVE to find a way back to the wilderness (not just in my head). I am taking a wilderness assignment this summer, which will help. In the meantime, other than meditation, I watch movies with beautiful scenery of places I’d like to be. The Ken Burns National Park series is a good one, as well as almost anything set in Ireland. I also resolve to find beauty in the small things, like the too-manicured trees in my neighborhood. All the best.

    1. It’s good to hear from you! Luckily, we’re heading back in July to those beautiful mountains I love. My closest friends are getting a place 5 minutes down the road and my boys and other family will join us. It’s in the middle of a favorite notch . I find myself watching all kinds of British television shows that are set in the country. Very soothing like a comforter on a winter’s night. Funny how you do a similar thing! Eventually, we hope to split out time in both places-that’s a few years away, though.. But it’s nice to have a plan in that direction. My husband is one cool guy- when I need to head for the hills, I just go. So far it’s in line with the seasonal changes. In the meantime, I am enjoying making new connections, my 15 year old stepdaughter (she is a true gem) and other hidden nuggets. Again, so good to hear from you! 🙂

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