I’ve lost Wednesday. I mean, I it was there, but I didn’t realise it. So I’m writing this letter to you today, on Thursday, the day I was woken up by a marching band. Yes, you’ve read it correctly. There was a band marching in our village from somewhere very early till eight in the morning. It’s Ascension Day in the Netherlands and apparently in the region we live in now there’s a tradition of “dew kicking.”
In the early years people would get up even at three o’clock in the morning to sing and dance on bare feet in the wet grass. Nowadays, it’s about an early group walk or, more often, a bike ride. A colleague told me that in his childhood they would go for a walk at five in the morning and afterwards attend a mass.
The band in my village was bigger than the group of people walking behind it, so it seems that the tradition is not going very strong these days, but maybe because there are less people attending church and this is strongly connected with religion.
Anyway, today I miss the days when group activities were not allowed. I mean, I get the walk, especially in nature, but why does it have to be with a band? Why do people always have to make so much noise? Maybe I’m just getting old.
I like quiet and I mean the total quiet, when you can hear your cat breath. I never turn on a radio, or anything else, just to have a background noise. I grew up in a home where there was always something playing, a radio or a TV, sometimes both. There was so much noise in my life. A radio, parties, other people’s expectations. It was hard to hear myself in the middle of all of this.
Now, I know what I like and what is good for me and I work towards the quiet in my life. We moved away for the city noise, there are no parties, no radio in the background, I’m getting better at filtering out other people’s expectations, I’m trying to change my work environment. Slowly I’m working on a happier me. One I’ve discovered in the depths of Covid lockdowns. Where many people were getting upset about it, I’ve never felt better in my whole life. The quiet of lockdowns was exactly what I needed to feel happy and calm.
What do you need to feel good?
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I love quiet --- and the sound of bird song, it's always makes me feel so good - and grateful too. 🌸