Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Art of Chill


This lovely fairy circle is on the grounds of a school in Annapolis.

I've lived in cities my whole life except for two years at Lake Tahoe, when I sampled village life. It took me awhile to relax after I moved there. I had to actually learn how to relax because I was so used to urban hustle and bustle. I remember one of the first winter snowfalls at Tahoe. My friend and roommate handed me a cup of hot chocolate and said, "Let's open the drapes and watch the snow." We watched - for about two mintes. Then I turned to her and said, "Now what do we do?" I didn't get it, that watching snow is a meditation, a lengthy, slow, beautiful way to unwind.

As soon as I moved to San Francisco (from Tahoe), I forgot all about how to relax. Then I moved here. Truly, Washington DC compared to San Francisco is like Tahoe compared to San Francisco: algorhythmically busier, more frantic, more electrical.

I love urban hustle and bustle, I do. But every now and then, I have to get out of the energy field. It's a matter of sanity, it really is. These days my habit is to visit a friend in Annapolis who lives right on the water in a cool, oppulent but not fancy house, full of books, various animals (cats, dog, bird). What we do is sit around, looking at books, staring into the woodstove fire, eating, drinking. We always get the dog out for a nice walk, but basically we spend a whole day relaxing.

Returning to DC after one of these luxurious days is always kind of a shock. When I see how frantic we are here, how we race around, even on a Saturday, I always have to laugh. We citizens of the District? We're crazy!

Happy Sunday, y'all. Stretch out and do nothing, will you, as I go to work? Yes? I say yes.


Peregrine Espresso yesterday morning. Busy, oh yeah. Always busy.

7 comments:

steven said...

reya there's snow falling here as i write. i just shovelled a couple of driveways and watched the sun - a very pale yellow - push through the branches of the trees. i used to live in toronto and when i moved away it was as if a tremendous burden of pressure had been lifted off me. i've become so used to the gentler kinder pace here that when i visit toronto i wonder at how or even why i accepted absorbed and became a piece of that whole thing. there was a learning there for me. tons actually! i wish you strength in your work! steven

The Pollinatrix said...

Unfortunately, I have to work today, since I let my birthday celebrations stretch out over three full days, and am now horribly behind in my work. Oh well - it was worth it!

Jo said...

You're so right, Reya, it takes time to adjust and learn to relax. I attribute it to the roots of our ancestors, most of whom came to this country we share with fierce determination and drive to forge a new life. Puritans, immigrants, and exiles we are, and none of them are known for their leisure pursuits!

I'm glad you found the formula for relaxation for you. Annapolis sounds heavenly, and you deserve a day devoted soley to ease!

Angela said...

Come to my blog and relax, sitting on that bench by the sea, watching gulls! Nothing better.

Vicki said...

When we moved down to the country it was a shock and I was still trying to find the time to relax. I am trying to stop and breath and am learning to find peace within. It's an uphill battle...

Peace and love to you today and always!

Reya Mellicker said...

Wow. What beautiful comments. Thank you!!

Murr Brewster said...

My niece moved here (Portland OR) from D.C. and declared that everyone was preternaturally relaxed, and she was having a hard time revving down. I couldn't believe it was true, thinking that people are pretty much the same everywhere. Four years later, and all revved down, she still says it's true.