I spent the week of Christmas at my mom’s farm in Iowa, with my standard poodle, Oscar. It’s a three and a half hour drive from Kansas City to her place; and once you’re there, it’s 15 minutes to the nearest small town. Des Moines, the closest decent-sized city, is nearly an hour away. I spent a considerable amount of solo time (not including Oscar’s excellent company) in the car.
The evening I arrived, the flakes started falling. I measured 7″ but my cousin who lives down the road swore it was at least a 14″ snowfall. Sounds more like fishing season, doesn’t it? No matter how you counted, there was a ton of the white stuff and temperatures were brutally cold. We spent a lot of time indoors, in snow jail.
Even though it was Christmas, with the requisite last-minute shopping and joyous family dinners, it was amazingly peaceful. Between my time in the car (Oscar doesn’t say much) and the solitude imposed by Mother Nature (I absolutely love the silence of falling snow) it became apparent how hectic and loud my regular life is…full of good things, for sure, but loaded with distractions.
It’s amazing what we hear when we slow down, quiet down and listen. Sometimes it’s tough emotional stuff, sometimes it’s the lyrics to an annoying song; and sometimes it’s nothing much of anything. But it’s all there, and it all needs to be heard.
Our yoga mat or meditation cushion is the perfect place to leave the noise behind and take a break from life’s distractions; someplace where we can tune in, listen to and make peace with the sounds of silence.