Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Leaving the Hustle Bustle

I practiced T'ai Chi Chih this morning to the sounds of a truck pumping our holding tank and the wood stove fan blasting away. People think that living in the middle of the woods means that I experience a life of quiet serenity. Some days that feels so completely wrong!

Yes, it's quieter here than in a city or suburb (fewer cars and planes), but the modern day household is filled with noise due to our dependence on electricity to operate appliances, electronics, phones, and a wealth of entertainment options. Don't get me wrong: I'm grateful for the quiet that surrounds me. But I'm currently reading a book that talks about living in a one-room cabin off the grid and it holds plenty of appeal (Twelve by Twelve by William Powers). No electricity, no running water, and ... no noise.

The book's author spent a  number of weeks staying in this tiny home while its owner was traveling. He obviously had a wealth of experiences; enough, at least, to fill a book. As the story unfolds, the reader discovers that the writer's journey (encouraged by the owner of the 12x12 house) is to simply sit. She doesn't expect him to take care of her house or her gardens. But, along the way he manages to build community, live softly upon the earth, and find some balance and personal happiness.

Sure enough, as he slows down and listens, he discovers that he can, indeed, live a simpler, healthier, happier life. That's one reason why I do a daily T'ai Chi Chih practice. It leads me into a quieter, more peaceful place that nourishes and comforts me (until, that is, I can build my own little off the grid homestead).

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