Thursday, March 10, 2011
The Singing Bird Will Come
Today is my first day without going to work in several weeks. It isn't always like this, but now is the "season" in our area if you are in the hospitality industry. We have learned to do more with fewer people and resources. Not all learning is good.
I didn't realize how stressed I was until Tuesday. I went to an auto repair shop because one of my headlights wasn't working. It is dark when I leave work, and for several evenings I was a little nervous during the drive home.
This was not your typical auto repair place. It was a wide open space with just a few chairs along the windows. They were of wood, not plastic, and were polished and shining. The art consisted of enlarged photographs of orchids, and there were a couple of paintings of island scenes. Live plants in lovely pots were here and there throughout the room. The only sounds came from the water feature on an unobtrusive table in the corner. No TV. No radio. No - not your typical auto repair shop.
I stood by the uncluttered counter, behind which was another fountain with running water. A plaque with the symbol for Harmony was next to it, and above were two framed sayings. One said something on the order of: The quieter you are, the more you will hear, and the other: If you have a green tree in your heart, the singing bird will come.
When the woman presented my bill, I told her I wished I was not in such a hurry because it was so calming in there. As I said those words, tears ran down both my cheeks. I was embarrassed. Yes -- I now realized I was obviously, definitely stressed.
I suddenly wanted to clear everything from my office, everything from my home, everything from my mind, except the necessary and the beautiful. I don't have time, I don't have time, I don't have time, I kept telling myself. And as long as I keep saying that, the more I will believe it.
Somehow we find time to do the things we really want to do. Today I could have gone through drawers and thrown away old paper, but instead I baked some banana-nut muffins. I could have boxed some clothes I no longer wear to take to the local shelter, but I sliced some strawberries and opened the curtains and lazily listened to the rain. And there are many other things I might do this afternoon, but sometimes doing nothing is the best stress reliever for me. Even God rested on the seventh day.