I stood on my back deck last night, leaning against the house and watching my friend get out of her Subaru with a bowl of meatballs. My daughters had strung white Christmas lights all over the barn’s front side that afternoon. The white clapboard had that classic New England winter festiveness, complete with a red-bow wreath someone gave my daughter.
I stood there thinking how in my twenties I would have believed I would live here forever. Forever was part of my twenties’ worldview. In my forties – like just about everyone else I know – the erosion of loss (marriage, business, house) has altered the landscape of my worldview. I stood there thinking that, at some point (God willing, many years hence), someone will live here, and maybe paint that barn cotton-candy pink. For that moment, though, in early December, I leaned against the solid house in the cool afternoon, thinking how fine it was to have guests for dinner and my daughters inside, baking cookies.
I don’t knit, but when I watch someone who does, I think that they must have found some of the same inner peace that I discovered during my expeditions (for example, the South Pole)…. A great many of us have a desire to return to something basic, authentic, and to find peace, to experience a small, quiet alternative to the din….The results that you achieve – firewood to warm you, a sweater you have poured yourself into – are not things that can be printed out. The fruit of your labor is a tangible product. A result that you and others can enjoy over a period of time.
– Erling Kagge, Silence in the Age of Noise