Fall promotes quiet introspection. The frenzy of activity-filled summer “break” is now a distant memory and the “back-to-school” season is over (thankfully). Semester exams are two months away – the distant horizon, as it were. Now is the time to simply be.
I find myself gravitating between several spots:
Relaxing on my front porch – now the mosquito hordes have abated – enjoying the crisp fall evenings punctuated by the sound of the neighbor kids playing make-believe in the yard next door. Really, they haven’t been that bad since they ran their brand-new four wheeler into our house on Christmas Day.
Meditating in an empty auditorium during some down time. During the week, I take one planning period to specifically not do anything. Even now, I’m waiting for choir practice to start. I’m here several hours early just to take time to mentally relax. It also doesn’t hurt to have WiFi access, but still – I’m not doing anything but write.
Nevertheless, the most relaxing place I can think of is a cemetery. No, I’m not obsessed with death. No, it doesn’t creep me out. I think I can thank my sister for my love of cemeteries – she took me with her as she traced our family tree in rural Pennsylvania. An afternoon of hunting headstones and reading the 100+ year-old epitaphs became something of a ritual. There are several cemeteries in my town: the old Episcopalian cemetery that existed almost before the town, the modern “garden-style” cemetery that has banned headstones, and (my personal favorite) the 19th and 20th century cemetery now famous as the place where television show Sleepy Hollow filmed some burial scenes.
I don’t know where your quiet place is, or if you have one. Wherever it is, take the time to enjoy it.