When you have kids, moments of quiet become a prized possession. They sometimes flutter down from the sky like a lost snowflake. But more often you have to grab them when you have the chance.
I didn’t used to understand the importance of ‘taking a moment.’
I read once in a gardening book about taking time to rest your arms on your shovel. The author described this as an essential part of the gardening process. I laughed. “How cute.” I thought. Who has time to stand around?
Since gardening and raising children aren’t such dissimilar subjects, it’s funny that it took me so long to appreciate the truth in those words.
Today, after an early lunch of Mac n cheese with cauliflower and peas, the kids were eager as always to get back to the business of playing after eating. I usually follow them out and take care of the dishes. Our newest baby was asleep in the carrier and my son’s dishes sat on the place mat to my right.
I hesitated. I took a breath and relaxed the muscles that had tensed, readying for my next step. I listened. The kids were happily delving back into games postponed for eating. A car drove by out front. My baby breathed and sighed happily against me.
These are the little moments we need to grab and just hold for a minute. It doesn’t take much and they are always there. It’s always possible to pause and breath; to feel our bodies; to let them relax before starting our next task. Like the balance to a clap is the sound of silence, so is doing to the moment of non-doing. They are both essential – even if there is a lot more doing than non-doing.
Taking a moment to do nothing is like a cup of tea for your soul. It brings your life into focus, the realness and richness of the moments that make up our life but are so often filled with thoughts of whatever is coming next. It creates SPACE in your mind.
So, the next time you find yourself in one of those spaces; the ones that are in between; the ones that are sometimes just a little up for grabs; grab them! Grab them and hold them. Drink in the sounds, the smells, the textures that make up your life. And just sit. Just sit for a quick moment of quiet. You won’t regret it.