This past month of May was the most enjoyable month I’ve had a long time. Why? While sitting on my back patio swing one gloriously cool morning, the thought occurred to me that since I ‘quit’ my job, I feel so much richer.
Disclaimer: Of course, not all of us can up and quit our job and have the confidence that we will still eat, still be able to pay bills. My husband has a full-time job, and our needs are met. My job allows for the extras we don’t need, or for saving for unexpected or anticipated expenses.
If I quit a job, I feel like a failure, or useless, or guilty for being home and enjoying it. This time, I brushed aside those feelings and allowed myself to simply enjoy this brief hiatus from work (after all, I still had my other job–the one I was taking a break from–I know, it’s a bit confusing).
I discovered the month of May is the perfect month to enjoy the freedom of late-ish mornings, a hot cup of coffee enjoyed on the back patio, and time to study the position of the rising sun. Upon waking, I would play a little game of ‘What Time Is It?’ and make a guess based on the outdoor sounds, the amount of light in the house, and whether the dog next door had been let out for a potty break. It doesn’t take much to entertain me!
These days were meant to enjoy the simple pleasures of nature. I listened for sounds that I had missed when I worked indoors: the early morning chirping of Robins, the shrill call of the aggressive Blue Jays, the sweet twittering of the bright yellow Goldfinch, and red-throated House Finches fighting for position on the Niger seed feeder. I observed ants crawling along the water hose, destination unknown (at least to me), the ant encrusted, tightly closed blossoms of the Peonies, and
then, the subsequent opening of their flowers. Brilliant red Cardinals swept across the yard from tree to tree, and Mourning Doves cooed as they cuddled up with their mate. I took in the rain drops resting on unfurling tree leaves, the blossoms of my young Crab Apple tree, the formation of soft green new growth on the pine tree, and it’s pollen moving along the breeze in great heavy, green-ish drifts.The scent of blooming Russian Olive trees greeted in the morning as I stepped outside, and one afternoon, I stood in my backyard smelling the sweetest rose fragrance ever–my favorite yellow rose in the front of the house… Even the every day sound of the train coming through town, or the church bells signaling the hour were pleasant and soothing. I soaked it up, I enjoyed it, and I found my thirst for this peace to be unquenchable. I realized that I could be out in nature for the rest of my life, and my ‘storage tank’ would still be lacking the last few inches needed for ‘Full’ to register. For once, I truly felt to be ‘in the moment’ not thinking of what I needed to do or should be doing. I felt alive and knew that this is what I needed at this point in my life. No guilt, no regret.
I have found that nature is medicine for the soul. It clears your mind, it fills you up, it gives you strength. Time with nature is just as important as time spent working at whatever your job may be. I went about my daily tasks not hurrying, but taking my time to present each motion and each step, as a gift to God for allowing me to be alive and healthy. As I made the bed, folded clean laundry, stitched along on a quilt for my daughter, or finished up painting my sewing room, I was thankful to God for having that privilege and ability. I have often wasted much time worrying about the future and in that misdirected process, became oblivious of the blessings of the present. What contentment there is in the simple things of life!
Towards the end of the month, I looked at the sky one morning after a rain and I noticed the clouds parting and the light breaking through. I told my husband, “those are the sort of clouds that Jesus will appear in…” They were like the brightness of hope and beauty. It was a perfect ending to the gift of a perfect month for the refreshing of my soul; for richness is not found in money, but in appreciating what God has given us and done for us.
*End Note: I still have my ‘regular’ part time job. I stopped in after my Languid Month of May; they said they missed me, and would I still want to come in once in a while to work? Yes.
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