A Peaceful Day

In the midst of packing, moving house and preparing to leave our wonderful home state of Tasmania (yet again), I created some precious moments of pause in the day. Yes, pausing in the midst of the adrenaline-fueled craziness that flurries around to distract me from noticing the beauty of simple moments.

We’ve moved this week into a friend’s home that has a wide open northerly outlook facing Table Cape, Bass Strait and a big sky. I’ve been drawn to stand and look out the large windows as huge clouds passed slowly overhead throughout the day.

Oh, this day has included its fair share of tasks; sorting, communicating, cooking (lamb shanks in a slow cooker simmering) and planning for our next adventure across to the mainland. But there have also been pauses, still moments of watching in awe at the beauty in dark clouds scudding by, threatening rain, patches of blue sky and amazing hues and shapes.

I’ve been experimenting with an app by John Eldridge called ‘Pause’. I love the notion of mindfulness and have finally given it some attention by means of a phone app that reminds me to slowly breathe, let go the tyranny of the urgent and enjoy some moments of stillness. It’s all part of this journey, this new intentional journey of going deeper into truth, meaning and purpose.

It has taken some stepping out of ‘liking the idea’ (but not doing it) or waiting for the ‘right time’ (never turns up TBH), into some practical shifts in how I use my time. So here in the busyness of our current circumstances, I’ve downloaded the app and am honestly enjoying the blessing of pausing to intentionally cease for a few minutes to breathe, notice and savour being. Just being.

People Travel

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains,         

At the huge waves of the sea,

At the long courses of rivers,

At the circular motion of the stars,

And they pass themselves by without wondering.

St Augustine

I had a student desk in my childhood bedroom with a huge map of the world on its surface. I would spend hours looking at the many exotic and mysterious names of countries near and far wondering what life is like for people who live in such amazing places.

I imagined life would be so different for other people and enjoyed picturing myself visiting tropical islands in the Pacific or treking through deep jungles and sandy deserts in Africa.

The travel bug hits so many of us early in life and while I’ve enjoyed some adventures and explorations in other countries it was while actually living in another country that I came to see how much we all have in common as human beings. I spent time being a mum with other mothers, being a friend, being a co-worker with people from all over the world. I learnt so much about myself along the way as I observed, listened and absorbed the stories of others.

I wonder if the way we westerners tend to ‘do travel’ actually changes us, or do we merely stay in our protective bubble passing through other cultures and places relatively untouched. We rarely stay long enough to form connections, create meaning and be genuinely impacted by the beauty of listening to and learning from other people. Our style of travel is a whirlwind, whistlestop, leap out for the quick photo op and hastily jump back on board for the next highlight.

In effect I believe how we travel is, for the most part, is also how we tend to do life. And that’s what the quote is all about.

It takes an intentional pause, a mindful noticing, an honest and open questioning, a moment of vulnerability to form meaningful connection with others. Only then, do we discover something about ourselves, something of our shared multi-faceted humanity.

Enjoy your travels, local and overseas when the time allows. Take time in the busy jam packed itinerary to occasionally pause and listen for the questions that will come to expand your awareness of yourself and others.

We are all in this together.


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    Silence and Solitude

    Two words that can spark dread and dismissal or evoke a deep response of anticipation and acceptance.

    I vacillate somewhere between the two responses, knowing in my head that silence and solitude are helpful for me to choose from time to time just like the slack tide in the river that momentarily ceases its ebb and flow.

    This year of COVID-19 created a ‘slack tide’ season that once accepted, became helpful. I’ve noticed the value of quality time, listening and enjoying connecting with family and friends. I’ve noticed a greater awareness of the inner life, what motivates, inspires, frightens or hinders me.

    I’ve noticed a growing acceptance and love for others. I no longer require them to always understand, or agree with me, or even be like me.

    I’ve noticed a deeper faith in an unchanging good God who speaks gently into my life with patient wisdom.

    How has this season impacted you? Have you observed changes within, priorities shifting, relationships deepening? Have you found new ways to engage in the beauty of silence and solitude as a means of bringing balance to the strong currents defining life?

    A friend has enjoyed additional time of solitude in the garden, planting, pruning, tending, watering. Another friend has enjoyed the time of silence while knitting, sitting in a chair looking at the ever changing sky as she quietly prays for her family. For me it has been writing and photography as I have soaked into the natural beauty of my home state.

    This has been a season of ‘unforgetting’, finding new strength, purpose and hope. How has it been for you?

    The journey of unforgetting

    I forgot I love to play the flute, breathing, creating, flowing, soaring.

    I forgot I love being in the music.

    I forgot I love the simple pleasure of following a mountain ridge with my eye and noticing every curve, buttress, cliff and fold.

    I forgot I love noticing the moment.

    I forgot I love the warmth of a fire on my face as I wrap my hands around a warm cup of tea.

    I forgot I love being comforted.

    I forgot I love the sun shining through a window on a beautiful vase of flowers, revealing shimmering colour and curves of amazing design.

    I forgot I love beauty.

    I forgot I love watching a farmer on his motorbike with his working dog chasing, herding, delighting in being together, taking a moment for an affectionate pat and wag of tail.

    I forgot I love being appreciated for my work.

    I forgot how green the grass, how deep blue the mountains, how vibrant the golden hour at end of day

    I forgot the power of choosing silence and solitude

    Di Priest

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