Today I had a wonderful day full of nothing in particular.
I needed some extra salt (I use salt and Coke Zero to treat my low blood pressure, rather than prescription medication) so decided to finally visit the American diner that is literally across the road from the hotel. I figured if I wanted salt, what better place to go!
I will post separately about the diner (it was fun and interesting), but the cacophony once I entered was overwhelming. Two different soundtracks from the American 1950s competing with each other from upstairs and down, children running around screaming with glee, but still screaming, people shouting to each other so they could be heard over the noise…
After at least ordering something, since I had already been seated, I picked at it enough to get my salt fix, drank my drink, paid my bill, left a tip, and walked down the street just a little way to sit outside at a restaurant.
At this new location, even being seated so close to the road that at times I thought a bus or two would swipe the side of my seat, and the constant hustle and bustle of people going by, it was amazing the difference I felt in the two places. One overwhelming – the other… intriguing.
Once settled, I ordered a bowl of soup and a glass of wine, and began to just …stop… Little by little I quietened my mind and began to truly observe and listen to the sounds and thoughts of the world as it meandered by.
The very tall Asian fellow with his very short female partner, he walking a pace and a half in front of her, holding her hand with his arm stretched out behind him, she taking two and a half steps to his one.
The nuns – who I have never seen walking alone, always in at least a pair.
The very attractive girl wearing oversized, shapeless clothes.
The average looking girl wearing so many overt labels (Gucci branded belt, LV branded handbag, Versace branded sunglasses, Hermes branded t-shirt, Dolce and Gabbana branded jacket topped off with red 5″ pumps in which she could barely walk) with a very attractive guy wearing simply black t-shirt, jeans, leather jacket.
The man in his fifties walking his dog of undetermined cross-breed heritage, the dog happily trotting along, smelling doorways, posts, people, and the man never taking his eyes off his mobile phone.
The elegantly-dressed woman in her 40s whizzing past on her electric scooter, wearing sneakers with her high-heels slung together over her shoulder.
The soup was filling, the wine a picante blend.
I was pleased with myself that I didn’t speak any English during my outing, only rudimentary Italian, but still managed to get everything I needed, and be respectful to those who were being of service – at least I hope that was the case.
One of the many, many, many blessings of the time I spent in England recently was that of simply ‘being’ again. It was time I needed to simply ‘stop’, sit by the lake, chat with Tree (my friend, the large tree beside the lake), and just ‘be’.
It was such a gift to create my little sanctuary there on that tiny piece of Heaven, and to find my inner peace again.
…and now that I am back in the bustling, vibrant, and ever-moving ‘big wide world’ again, it gives me such a sense of peace and tranquillity to tap back into those feelings and find a spot like today – that could be any spot, any time, and last night when the world just felt a little too big, it was leaning out my window and observing the people walking by below – and just ‘stop’ and ‘listen’ and ‘chill’.
Yes, it’s lovely to go exploring, to visit places, have all sorts of experiences… but it is just as important to take time to simply ‘be’ – to stop, sit, have a glass of wine, and watch the world go by.
Perhaps in order to quiet one’s own mind, get perspective, and find time to juggle everything one needs to juggle, it helps to simply stop and watch others – even if just for a few moments – to give our own mind time to dull and dampen the cacophony of chatter that doesn’t matter… and listen to the gentle voice of our own inner being that does.
My wish, dear friends, is that you can find even a moment or two to simply ‘stop’ and ‘be’… Cherish each moment – as Michael Landon said, “there are only so many tomorrows.”