It was so nice to read about someone else’s enjoyment of stillness, here on Under the Apricot Tree. It is an interesting experience to be still and one into which I find myself tapping more in recent months. I live in a studio and the west wall is almost just one big window that looks out on to several trees. On many occasions I find myself drawn to sit down and just stare out the window, sometimes with my morning coffee, other times empty-handed on a quiet afternoon.
As Jenni, the author of the aforementioned post, rightly points out, we feel so much pressure to “maximize” our time. The first couple of times I sat down to just be with the view and realized that I wasn’t “doing” anything, I had to give myself permission to abstain from “productive” activity. But with practice, it becomes more comfortable just to be without doing. There is a peace I find when I just look at the rustling leaves or the light bouncing off of them. No particular thoughts run through my head, I am just placidly seeing the environment. It is a wonderfully stabilizing, calming sensation.
I am learning to allow myself this experience more often, in new places like a bench outside the library at lunch. It feels weird at first, to be sitting there in public, no book in hand, food to eat or other activity to legitimize my existence. One imagines others staring at oneself, asking, “Why is she just sitting there?” But, really, it is none of their business what I do with my time. Perhaps they’ll even follow my lead, and just enjoy the setting.