Do you like to go on walks, my pets? Don’t you find that a good walk solves most problems? Long or short, through busy city streets or in quiet natural areas, by myself or with others: walking makes me happy.
I’ve been thinking about the serenity that walking can bring, thoughts triggered by watching a wonderful documentary about Fred Rogers, aka Mister Rogers. That man was the embodiment of tranquility and mindfulness. Who knew that Presbyterian minsters could also be zen masters? Mother-of-Mine and I went to see “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” last week as an antidote against the horridness tarring this beautiful country of ours, and watching it was quite a balm, let me tell you. Fred Rogers was able to talk calmly and compassionately to children and adults about anything and everything: about national and personal tragedies, about being angry and sad, and about being happy and carefree. One of the things that struck me was how comfortable he was with silence – he wasn’t frightened by the spaces between words and beats. For example, in an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood he asked if anyone ever wondered how long a minute was, and then demonstrated it by sitting quietly next to a timer for a full minute. In another show – one made for adults – he had an incredibly thoughtful conversation with a pianist about music in which he paused repeatedly to let silence into the room, pauses that lasted so long that I actually felt uncomfortable.
As that comment showed, and as anyone who knows me well understands, your little munakins is not one for quiet introspection. Introspection: yes. Quiet introspection: not so much. Get me walking and things are different, though. Much of my walks are spent obsessively working through things, but there are moments in any given walk where my hyperactive nature pauses long enough to let grace enter. Wanting more of that grace and being inspired by Fred Rogers, I’ve started allowing time for silence and empty spaces in my day-to-day life. Like the man himself, this has proven to be quite the balm, indeed.
Speaking of balms, I am happy to report that the fresh mint salt from last week’s post has proven to be both very tasty and very convenient. If you make your own fresh herb salt, I suggest that you keep the jar unlidded until the herbs have dried out a bit. Also, please note that mint salt goes sooooooo well with ripe Early Girl tomatoes, and jalapeno salt goes oh-so-nicely with grilled summer squash. I just thought you ought to know that. That’s it for this week, my duckies. Be well, watch clouds scuttle, sit in happy silence with someone you love, take a walk to blow out the cobwebs, and tune in next time for news about the myriad sewing projects that are in progress at the Houseproud homestead.
Until then, very fondly – yr little munakins
PS: Redwood Regional Park is a very pretty place, my pets. The pics above were all from a hike I took with M-o-M earlier this month.