It is such a busy and rushed world these days. Summer is now upon us, the kids are out of school and we have plans, plans, plans.
I raised my sons in a very rural part of Virginia. We were transplants and hadn't been there long. We didn't have a lot of connections or social engagements. A lot of our summers were spent doing very simple things. We took walks, we played with various toys, we listened to the insects singing in the evening and we had fun with the sprinklers and our dog. Many times, I let my oldest son go out into the rather thick woods next to our home, it was called 'Black Forest Estates' for good reason. He had many an adventure, but thankfully never got hurt.
All in all it was very relaxing. Don't get me wrong, we also had camp, play dates, baseball practice and other fun things. I'm just saying that every single section of our months weren't planned with big engagements and vacations.
When asked what his favorite part of the summers were, my oldest talks about the things above. He talks about when I spent time with him, his time having adventures in the woods and times spent together as a family.
Now he's in the National Guard at Officers Training School. And when he's done with his day, he likes to go and commune with nature. He loves hiking, hunting and fishing. All of these activities are done alone and in the quiet of nature.
I am an undiagnosed, but most likely ADD adult, who is very distracted by noises, comings, goings, hustle, and bustle. I must get away for a period of time each day to get a breather from it all. I have done this for a long time now, have made my own ritual. My dog, Evee, is an essential part of my present routine. I go for hikes with her, away from the well-traveled trails of the local park. We go out where fewer people venture. Less traveled, probably, because there is wild life and one can never predict what one will come upon when you're out so far. But my dog is a companion and she is a protector. We help each other. I walk her daily and she protects me as I take a few minutes in our travels to stop, sit, meditate and pray. It gives me strength and fuels my creativity and my plans. I know there is an inner voice that I am able to hear, listen to, and then to follow. A very wise man and Apostle of Lord said:
If you don't have a time during your day to just stop and be at one with silence, with the intent to listen to your calm, still, inner voice, I highly suggest you try it. Try going out on a walk, in the early morning or late evening. Find a nice, quiet place to sit for a few minutes. If you aren't too distracted by things around your home, find a quiet place specifically for quiet reflection and meditation. Set it up with whatever you need to sustain calm, focused, thought. Spend at least 10-15 minutes thinking about calm things. Let the thoughts be healing and positive in nature. Focus on your relationship with God. Pray, if that is in your practice. You will be enriched after you make it a part of your routine. You will begin to crave it, because of the strength and focus it brings into your life.