Between the woods the afternoon
Its fallen in a golden swoon,
The sun looks down from quiet skies
To where a quiet water lies,
And silent trees stoop down to the trees.
And there I saw a white swan make
Another white swan in the lake;
And, breast to breast, both motionless,
They waited for the wind’s caress. . .
And all the water was at ease.
– The Mirror, by A.A.Milne
It’s a funny thing the habits we dream of changing and yet are challenged to do so when the opportunity presents. The ability to disconnect, to accept solitude on the rare occasion you find yourself in the very opportunity of it. That is how I felt about our recent, sans kids, adventure to the 100-acre woods. I found myself much like Winnie the Pooh, easily distracted, fluff in my ears and tummy grumbling.
Here I was in a beautifully, absolutely secluded spot in the woods of the Virginia mountains, listing to the breeze whisper through the trees, the heavy breathing of my closest friend napping in the coziness of peaceful nature all around, and I was fidgeting.
Restless to fold a load of laundry, feed a child, answer an e-mail, or inevitability “be there” for someone or something needing my attention. Thankfully the breeze in the trees shushed louder, the breathing of my buddy encouraged me to take his lead, and one breath after another I was relaxing into the peacefulness of a spot so beautifully given to us for three, very needed, short days.
God has made me a doer. I am an achiever. I strive to check boxes, keep things ordered, and find the organization in the midst of the chaos, whatever it might be. It is a component of who I am.
But that’s what comes naturally. The challenge is turning that off and letting go so that even that area of me can be improved by His ever whisperings.
I read an entire book while we “did nothing” around the cabin. We ate smores by the fire. I was in my pajamas by 5 pm. I enjoyed God’s creation through the lens of my camera. I talked to my dearest buddy between chapters of our books. We ate hot meals, without sharing with smaller people, while watching the morning rain soak the mountains that were steps from the porch we were perched upon.
We adventured out once to see Skyline Drive and peruse some local shops.
We were disconnected to all that needed to be temporarily in order to find peace and perspective again. The peaceful contentment of relaxing and gaining a thankful perspective on life was evident. Thank you to Grandparents and friends who allowed us to be there.
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
And we were thankful to hug pajamaed kids upon our return.