Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Thinking Porch

One of the hardest things for me to do is to just sit and think, to let my mind wander where it may. Maybe because that sounds kind of dangerous. Who knows what crazy ideas might come out of taking the leash off my brain? Still, it does get tired of kicking into action for all the practical day-to-day stuff, for work or in a crisis. But there never seems to be the right time or place to go beyond the energy of immediate thinking.

For the past few months, I've had a deep need to get away from practical thoughts. Yes, to just sit and think. To dream, explore, wonder. To not think about the everyday or the have-to stuff.

So why can't I do that any time, any place? I'm guessing it's my appalling lack of self-control in responding to technology, petty household chores, and the need for mani/pedis, unnecessary trips to Publix, and naps. I own my lack of self-control in these areas and more, but my brain was in need of a good spring cleaning, so I decided to do something about it. Last week, I took a little vacation time, found what looked like the perfect getaway location, and headed for the hills.

My room was the only one at the hotel with a private porch. Granted, the (very unbusy) parking lot ran along one side of it, but the porch faced the lake, hills, and lots of azaleas, wild honeysuckle, and evergreen trees and made a nice little nest - wooden chair with several cushions, a little table to prop up my feet, side tables for the stacks of things I'd planned to do to unwind. Read. Write. Draw. Drink tea. Yes, big plans.

But once I settled into my little outdoor nook, I found myself not energized to read or what have you; rather, I was constantly being called out of my books and journals by wind in the trees, chattering birds, and the wet-on-wet sound of water in the garden fountain. After wasting some time trying to stick with the program I'd set for myself, it dawned on me that I should take advantage of the sights and sounds around me, lay aside the books, and just see where my mind would take me.  Fortunately, where it called me wasn't work or money or other routine things that usually demand brain-time. I was called to let my head go wherever it wanted (yes, perhaps a little dangerous), to indulge in the luxury of deep thinking with no real purpose, no endgame thought-goal. And it was divine.

I won't bore you with what I thought about or what life questions and answers I worked out. The point is that spending early mornings, afternoons just before suppertime, and late into the nights on that thinking porch was exactly the spring cleaning my fuzzy old brain needed. Cups and cups of tea helped, too, by the way. As I let the mountain sounds sink in and blow through, really listening to the birds, frogs, insects, wind, and rain, I realized the reading and writing could wait. The thinking couldn't.

I didn't miss TV or my laptop. I didn't miss being in a fancy-schmancy hotel, though I had every necessary comfort in this small mountain inn. I didn't miss sticking to a plan. I let it all go. Just to sit. Just to listen. Just to notice. Just to think.

1 comment:

Liz Hinds said...

Oh that sounds blissful! Just perfect.