the quiet day: a good day for a drive and being mindful

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sunday, september 21 was the quiet day. a movement started by the quiet place project. a day when we all stop yelling at each other. we write everything in lowercase. during the quiet day you should not write anything with your caps-lock on (and no — don’t use the shift key either). the use of lowercase writing can be a strong symbol that can show that we want some peace and quiet. i found out about it in 2012; it didn’t repeat. but i still observed it.

I spent Sunday being both quiet and mindful. Quiet mainly because I woke up Saturday without my voice. I’ve been down with a cold that won’t go away. And for the first time in my life I lost my voice! The maiden and the crone however wouldn’t let me rest my voice. Despite my inability to answer them they kept talking and asking me questions and expecting answers. I was glad to have a errand to run to get out and enjoy some quiet.

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Usually I listen to music when I drive. But today I listened to the road noise. The wind. The engine. It reminded me of a time when I owned a car without a radio. Without realizing it, I became attuned to the sound of that car and I always knew when something was wrong – because the car sounded different. So sometimes, turn off the radio or music, and just listen.

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I love cruise control. It allows me to travel at a consistent speed. I can always tell if I am behind someone without cruise control. I don’t think people realize how much their speed shifts up and down. I would encourage you to use cruise control if you have it.

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I live in a rural area, so I use a lot of back roads and secondary roads. I also see a lot of animals that have been killed trying to cross these sometimes busy roads. It breaks my heart to see them sprawled out and left on the road. If safe to do so, I will stop and move them to the side of the road. It seems cruel to leave their bodies on the road to suffer more indignity. I saw some pictures of a photo project a woman did where she laid flowers around the victims to honour their soul and spirit. So I did just that today.

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Sunday was also the last day of summer. Today is the first full day of Fall. It wasn’t a scorching summer this year in central east Ontario (Canada) but I am still happy to see Fall. I love the usually warm, sunny days and cool evenings. The leaves on trees change from green to red, yellow or orange. Windows can be left open at night for a cool breeze to fill and freshen the house. It is a beautiful time of year. My favourite time of year.

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Sunday drives are a time for exploring new trails and quiet country roads. Gryphon and I love to walk. He is my co-pilot. My walking companion. My protector. My best friend. I grew up with cats. After my last cat Tasha died at 16.5 years old I did not think I would be able to have another cat. She had been with me the longest and I was devastated when she died. So, I thought I would get a dog. Gryphon was a rescue dog. I don’t know what he is made up of or how old he really is. He looks like a Leonberger (except he is 70 lbs not 140) and he is at least eight. He has Cushing’s disease – has lost all the muscle mass in his back and hind legs, and is more laid back these days. But he still loves our walks and car rides.

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For a couple hours I was able to be one with my thoughts. I was able to notice things that make being alive so great. I love the maiden more than life itself. But if there is one thing I have learned since becoming her mom is that I also need to make time for myself to be by myself.

I am an introvert. I’d much rather be at home reading a book, messing about in my garden, walking the dog, or just sitting and listening to music or watching birds and nature. Having a child with any special need is exhausting. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is no exception. Being someone’s external brain takes a lot of energy. It depletes a lot of energy. That is why it is so necessary to take time to fill oneself up again.

It is also a good reason to practice being mindful. Being still. Just being.

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