rambling: on living a quiet life

I love the word rambling.
To ramble to me is to walk without a particular destination in mind, just to walk for the pure enjoyment of walking. And when you’re walking for the pure enjoyment of it, you notice things you wouldn’t have before.
Then there are the rambling words. Snippets of sentences, poetry, stories, ideas—they ramble through my brain at a pretty constant pace. If I pay attention, I can pull them out, write them down.
Like this phrase that’s been repeating itself in there lately, live a quiet life, mind your own business, work with your hands… it’s from a scripture in the Bible* and it’s been speaking to me.

We escaped suburbia on the weekend for a sneaky getaway for a few days.
We stayed at our favourite caravan park, pitched our tent so that it nestled under the peppermint trees, and spent days being the only people on glorious beaches with white, squeaky sand and turquoise waves.
We climbed over rocks, swam in our underwear, and caught salmon from schools of them right behind the breakers. We had no phone reception and played board games at night, drank tea from enamel cups and slept on blow up mattresses. All of my favourite things.

Live a quiet life.
There’s so much pressure to shout. To advertise everything we’re doing, to hustle, to ‘make something’ of ourselves. We’re shouting about our accomplishments, about our travels. Shouting our opinions—loudly voicing exasperation at the state of the worlds politics/religions/inequality. And I’m not saying I’m not just as exasperated as the next person, and I am not saying that those of us who are being a voice for the voiceless and standing up against injustice are wrong, not in the slightest.
Those of us though, who sprout opinion in the form of venomous personal attacks from behind a screen are shouting, and need to stand down.
Those of us trying to hustle to be seen and heard amongst the noise of the crowd, take a deep breath and ask yourself why.
Live a quiet life.

Rise early, sit with hot cups of tea, read books, have long conversations on the phone as you mindlessly fold the laundry, pray for the friends whose names cross your mind as you’re driving or doing the dishes.
Sit patiently with your little people to help with homework, or listen to long-winded stories about the latest YouTube video or Fortnite game, give embarrassing hugs at school drop off, eat slices of apple with them in patches of sunshine on the front verandah.
Pop the top off a Corona and sit with your soulmate, clink the neck of your beers together and grin, remembering why you chose each other.
Live a quiet life.
There’s so much beauty to be had in this quiet life—deep breaths of it that fill your lungs with gratitude—none of it can be conveyed in an Instagram post or 140 characters of clever words.

There is more room for the sacred, here in the quiet life.
The rhythms of the every day become soul-filling when we’re not hustling and scrambling and trying so hard to snatch more more more, something else, something brighter, shinier.
In the quiet, we can hear so much better.
Notifications off. Minding our own business, working with our hands (to stop them from scrolling, perhaps).
Rambling, content in the here and now.
Living a quiet life, enjoying the view.


*1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

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