Ignoring the phone as usual, I made my way outside just as a car was pulling into said weedy driveway. A man poked his head out of the vehicle window.
"Are you the goat people?"
"Do you have goats?" he asked.
I looked around to double check. What if I said no while there was a runaway goat standing behind me?
I confirmed that we did not, but I know who did, and so after some directions to our neighbors, the man thanked me and made his way to the house one street over. But before he did, he made a curious comment.
"It's so peaceful out here."
You could have fooled me.
Surely I gave him a look that showed I had no idea what he was talking about, but I did know. It's easy to view green fields and quaint country churches sandwiched between farm stands and feel, well, soothed. Even with nearby cities and suburbs encroaching from all sides, people find rural stretches of road synonymous with peace. Less traffic, less noise, more sky. I wouldn't trade it for anything else.
I make peaceful living a priority. That means I limit artificial noise whenever possible, noise made by non-organic things. We'd rather hear the duckling laugh, the rain on the roof, and the dog bark rather than electronic beeps. I'm always on the look out to clear clutter, which is nothing more than visual chaos. We like fresh air and a relaxed lifestyle. All too often, these things elude me and circumstances takes over. Even the quaintest landscape looks most peaceful before the tornado funnel arrives.
One way I've put more peace into my life lately is by throwing away my to-do list. This doesn't mean I chuck all my responsibilities out the door (who could get away with that?) but if I'm going to make peaceful living a priority, then I need to save my sanity and revamp my goals. Instead of a to-do wish list, I've started doing what I call "one big thing." Every day when I get up I ask myself what is the most important "big thing" that has to be done today. It could be laundry. It could be seeing a friend. It could be a much needed trip to the store, or a home project that needs attention. Barring sickness, emergencies, or locust plagues, I can usually get the one big thing done. Anything else I can do on top of that is icing on the cake, and it feels so good. Most of the time it's surprising how many other things I am able to get done besides the big thing, but there is no pressure to do them. I feel more productive and less stressed than when I held myself to a list of demands which often made me feel like a failure when I couldn't complete all of them in a single day.
|My image in the bird bath, looking for some still waters.|