The need for quiet spaces

20180807_203021.jpgI am in my favorite Kansas place – on the Konza Prairie – though scribbling as a meeting wraps up instead of hiking the trails. It’s been a full day. A full weekend of adventure and friends lost to the insidiousness of cancer and more. Bitter mixed with sweet.

This afternoon, I wanted to curl up in my nest and hide instead of driving out to meet the people and scribe the meeting notes. But the drive out here was quiet and slow and good; a reminder why humans need quiet spaces and places for contemplation.

In the whir and buzz of this era, quiet is a luxury. Quiet minus social media is a ridiculous luxury.

We need room for the wind to ruffle our hair and solitude to invade our space. Hiking the trail is perfect preparation for the unexpected found off trail and in life when you see signs of the night predators and the late fall wildflowers.

The Konza Prairie trails are places to meet new faces and to let go sadness by degrees. The hills challenge while the view inspires. Somehow, whether joy speaks or sadness, the Konza quiet makes it better.

When storms roll upon the prairie and race me to the car, I am reminded of how little control I have in the big wide world and the bigger and wider the world becomes by adventure and exploration.

Some seasons, it is a risk to enter the quiet spaces with turning weather and inner issues the quiet forces us to face. We are invited to explore the inner and physical landscapes.

But the risk is so worth it. Nothing beautiful has ever been accessed by shivering at the trail head – too afraid of failure and portended predators within. I’m getting a little weary of what feels like failure and the quiet spaces help me to deal with them, to see what first feels like a failure of kindness or character as an opportunity to forge the upward trail of setting things aright or letting them go.

Often, the quiet spaces and the trails cause me to wring my shirt of sweat. Fear, exertion and wonder…all leave me exhausted.

We need quiet spaces. I prefer mine have dirt trails, wind and wildflowers. When these are unavailable, I’ll take museums, welcoming people, places of gentle faith, a great book or well-earned yoga savasana.

As the post-meeting potluck begins, I may sneak out to climb radio-tower hill and let the work of the quietest space begin; restoration, stillness, wonder and a heart looking for – open to – wisdom.

Where are your quiet spaces and what do you seek/find there? I hope you find whatever you seek whether alone or in good company.

Derring do friends in the beautiful mess of everyday living.

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