The wind howls outside my tenth floor apartment. It is negative twelve degrees Celsius outside, with a wind chill of negative eighteen. It is Saturday morning, five o’clock. What will I do with my weekend? Anxiety and pressure begin to mount. I really should do something with the time, take advantage, profit, right? But I hate the cold. And « should » is a red flag word for me.
I go in waves…sometimes it takes me a month to read a book, sometimes a day. Right now I am enjoying the latter, nourishing, through my eyes and my ears, my brain and my imagination. In the book I finished yesterday, « The Stranger in the Woods » by Michael Finkel, which I’d begun only the day before, Christopher Knight explains that for most of the 27 years he spent living alone in the woods, he did nothing. He watched Nature. He just was, just lived. « There isn’t nearly enough nothing in the world anymore. » How true. So much flash and bling and crash, boom, bang. This one little phrase helped me; gave me permission to do just that: nothing, something that is such a challenge for me. (I think that’s probably why I enjoy hiking so much; it is like doing nothing and doing a lot at the same time.)
Furthermore, I consider it a lovely marvel how each and every day, even after eleven years living here, in my simple, modest, warm, perfect, little 420-square-foot rented apartment, that when I return home, I still think to myself: « I love my little place! » I really do. Tomorrow an Airbnb guest will arrive and share this tiny space with me for two weeks. So maybe I should just stay home and enjoy my space while I still have it to myself. I have no commitments today. Why not just relish in the elusive focus that is allowing me to read and feed my soul and my dreaming? I could just stay home all day long and read and drink coffee and eat and do absolutely nothing. What a thought! There is also my eclectic collection of old French films that I could blow the dust from and indulge in. Shelves and shelves of books here to read, or read again. There’s a downright wonderland of adventure by proxy here, where it’s warm, and quiet and free of stupid humans.
And…AND…it’s February 29th! It’s literally an extra day. A day off from the year. Oh, it’s settled. I’m staying home. Home, peaceful, home.
Farewell to rushing and bustling and people and places,
for a day.