I haven’t watched TV for days.
Taking time away from the distraction of television; to read my recently purchased books, to write and work on preliminary sketches for a painting I’m doing, I have found it has been an incredibly peace filled experience. I have been committed to finding this specific type of solitude within my own home. I have felt the increasing need over the course of the past year and a half to have peace, but I confess, I had to make a conscious decision for this to happen. The act is simple yet so hard.
I just turn it off.
Over the last week, I’ve enjoyed the sound of the rain, the sound it makes as is sloshes down the gutter and lands on the ground.
I have enjoyed the recent sunny days we have had here in Portland and I looked at the signs of spring in my own yard. I took notice. I could actually hear the sound of the birds chirping through closed windows that had not yet been open for the day.
I can’t hear the sound of birds with the television on.
I could hear the sound of my bare feet walking on the hardwood and the distant noise of the train nearby. I heard the cat fight down the street and the faint sounds of small children squealing with laughter a block over.
The days seemed longer, quiet, and peaceful.
Most of my communication with family and friends is either by text or email. For us, it is the easiest way to communicate without disturbing someone in the middle of a work day and we can get back to each other when it is convenient.
This afternoon, my phone rang. It was my mother. We had talked earlier in the day and she called back to check on a detail discussed earlier. In passing she asked me if I had been watching television and of course I let her know I had been enjoying the quiet. The peace I had so carefully nurtured was at risk of coming to an abrupt end.
She told me about Brussels.
The news was devastating for many families. She told me I should turn on the television. My mother is a tender sweet woman. She would never intentionally want to rattle anyone. We hung up. I just couldn’t do it.
At least for the moment, I refused to turn on the distraction .
You see, my husband travels all over the world. It is hitting close to home now. For all of us, everywhere.
He had just been in Brussels a few weeks ago, while traveling to another country
We traveled together to Germany last fall and fell in love with the city as soon as we stepped foot on the cobblestone.
And together we fell in love with France as we looked out of our flat one warm night, the year before.
Travel is a very real part of our life. It is what we do.
As husband and wife we make a good team and it means that we trust in the process. I am not rattled by the amount of time he spends traveling as most wives would be. We know this is what he is called to do and I am called along with him as his wife and I support what he does. I stay busy with my own work writing and painting and projects as they come in and I travel with him whenever I can.
This evening, the quiet will be interrupted with a simple click connecting the electricity giving power to the distraction. I don’t really want to know the details, but I can’t stay in this haven of solitude and peace and ignore the outside fever pitch of horror that happened today; to the innocent, to the weary travelers trying to get home. I won’t want to ignore the information about those trying to get to the foreign city to do their job, away from their families that trust in the process of taking care of their beloved.
I will want to know the details; the tragedy of the Americans that are suffering in Brussels tonight.
I can’t ignore the many families plight that could have been ours just weeks ago.
My husband will be boarding a flight in the morning from a country fifteen hours different from the Pacific Northwest. I pray he gets here safe and secure within this wonderful country of ours. I want him to feel the quiet and peace of our home.
It is what all the families wanted for their loved ones.
I am going to have to look at the world outside these four walls. I will turn on the very necessary distraction for tonight but I cannot, nor will I, allow it or them, to take away my peace.
We just can’t allow it.
We will be praying for the families affected by the tragedy in Brussels.
We want to help ease their sorrow and let them know they are not alone.
We turn on the television for many reasons and it is certainly not all bad. I want to turn it on for just a little while for the important information, but for me, it will need to go off again. I will want to gather the fragmented peace in my own home that those hateful actions so recklessly tried to steal.
Peace fragmented for so many on this one solitary planet we all must call home.