Monday, July 25, 2011
the art of doing nothing
my parents used to put me to bed around 7:30 each night.
when i would hear the familiar chords of the entertainment tonight theme song, i knew it was time. time to go brush my teeth and head upstairs, the sun not quite set. mama, quite correctly, later told me the early bedtime sentence was enforced because i never took naps, and plum wore them out. but their plan for me to catch an early slumber was always foiled, because late afternoon sunbeams would peer through my thin floral sheets and i ended up reading until night fell.
alone in my tiny twin bed, i devoured the babysitter's club. american girl. goosebumps. and later, when my sister and i shared a room, we would lie in the same dusky sunset and spill our secrets, with only the pale pink couch to witness.
i was never one to nap. never one to relax or calm down or take it easy.
but then, one day, i found myself married. to a man who relishes and adores sleep almost as much as he is enamored with me. a man who, if left alone, can sleep until one in the afternoon. and i found myself all of a sudden aware. of the beauty of doing nothing. the art of it, really.
so when my family went to the beach this year, i only read two pages of the book i brought along. i tried to work on homework. i really did.
but instead, i walked along the shore with mama and carly, kicking up little showers of sand with my toes and lying in the water, giving myself a makeshift sea salt scrub with rocks brought in by the waves.
i ate long dinners and went back for seconds. i watched movies and took walks around the neighborhood at seven in the evening, and peered into the houses of families not unlike my own, making supper from ocean catches and gathering around long wooden tables.
i caught up with family i haven't seen in a while. my sweet grandfather and his beautiful, kind-hearted wife. my great-aunt who knows the best way to fry a flounder is with cornmeal, and my great uncle and second cousin who rise with the sun to go out on the boat. they've all got such beautiful hearts.
it may have taken me 24 years, but i've learned. how to rest, body and mind. how to really capture that sweet feel of sleep. and i owe it all to the man who lies to the left of me every night, whose breaths and sighs are the lullaby of our little cottage.
and the best part is, he lets me stay up as late as i want to. oh, adulthood!
**i'm thrilled to be posting today as part of feed the birdies' "what girls like" series. head on over to check out my thoughts on one of my great loves, thrifting!