Listen with Ease
Have you ever sat very silently, not with your attention fixed on anything, not making an effort to concentrate, but with the mind very quiet, really still? Then you hear everything, don’t you? You hear the far off noises as well as those that are nearer and those that are very close by, the immediate sounds — which means really that you are listening to everything. Your mind is not confined to one narrow little channel. If you can listen in this way, listen with ease, without strain, you will find an extraordinary change taking place within you, a change that comes without your volition, without your asking, and in that change there is great beauty and depth of insight.
~ J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life
Here we are, the old year gone and the new one just beginning. Did you do anything special for New Year’s Eve? M and I stayed in. We thought about going up to Princess Anne to join in their celebration, but it was raining and neither of us felt like standing outside in the rain. Have you heard about the Princess Anne celebration? It made CNN’s list of 19 Quirky New Year’s Eve Celebrations. That’s because they drop a muskrat at midnight instead of a ball. They call it the “Midnight Muskrat Dive,” and don’t worry, no muskrats are injured during the process. We haven’t yet gone and it’s on my list of things to do on the Eastern Shore. I’m sorry we missed it because they were giving out free Smith Island cake. (In case you’re unfamiliar with Smith Island cake, you can see it here.) They also had freshly shucked oysters (it’s oyster season here), but I don’t mind missing out on those. No matter how many times I try oysters, I still don’t like them.
Because I get up early, I wasn’t able to stay up until midnight. This makes me sound old, but I’ll tell you anyhow: I was in bed by 9:30 PM. For the past few months I’ve been working on my sleep hygiene. If my body-mind wants to get up early (which it does), then I need to go bed early. On the plus side, I may have missed the celebrations on television but I did see the sunrise this morning. There wasn’t much going on in terms of the sun because it was cloudy. Nevertheless, it was peaceful and lovely and I’m so glad I was awake to experience it. The sounds this morning were unusual, too, for a Tuesday. The Church in the Shire had their carillon playing. Wonderful bells ushering in the light and the new year. A couple of Bald Eagles were out and about, too.
M and I will have a quiet day at home today. We’ll have the traditional pork and sauerkraut. It’s a tradition I inherited from M and his family, and we have passed on to our sons who are passing it on to their children. Everything in the dish has a meaning of some kind. The sauerkraut is for luck, the garlic is for anti-theft, the rosemary is for protection, the salt is for purification, the pepper is to exorcise those demons that might be hanging around, the brown sugar is for love, the onion is for money/prosperity, and the apple is for good health. I’m not sure what the pork is for. Good fortune, perhaps.
There won’t be much pork in the meal. We bought two pork chops to plop into the sauerkraut and that will have to do. M and I don’t eat meat very often and frankly, I’d like to eliminate it from our diet all together. I’ve read a number of articles recently about how eating less meat is better for the environment and could help with climate change (emissions from livestock operations are said to make up 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions).
Our present agriculture, in general, is not ecologically sustainable now, and it is a long way from becoming so. It is too toxic. It is too dependent on fossil fuels. It is too wasteful of soil, of soil fertility, and of water. It is destructive of the health of the natural systems that surround and support our economic life. And it is destructive of genetic diversity, both domestic and wild.
~ Wendell Berry, Bringing it to the Table: Writings on Farming and Food
I reckon that’s about it from me on this cloudy, sometimes rainy, first day of 2019. Thank you for stopping by. They say it might clear up this afternoon. If it does, let’s meet out at the Point. Sunset is at 4:55 PM. There are gale warnings and it’s been warm (in the 60’s), but a drop in temperature is supposed to accompany the clearing skies. I think I’ll layer and be sure to bring my hat and gloves. It’s usually chillier by the water, especially on blustery days.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂 And if you feel so inclined, maybe take a few moments to listen in the way that Krishnamurti recommends in the quote I opened my post with it. I highly recommend it. It’s very calming (and I think the world needs more calming these days).
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 996) Listening to the carillon this morning. 997) Green tea with lemongrass and turmeric. 998) Correspondence from old friends. 999) Beginnings. 1,000) Hey! I made to 1,000. But since I want to celebrate more than a number, getting started on a new yoga course that I signed up for (the Art of Self-Care with Karin Carlson).