Finding my zen

Ballard Design Vigneto wine shelf

“Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?” Mary Oliver

One thing leads to another, and another, and another – and my quest for balance continues.

It all began with my Monday morning dread. Although, perhaps “dread” is too strong a word – “apprehension”, “trepidation” – maybe. It all began with my Monday morning trepidation which led to thinking about balance, which led to TED talks, which led to the ten-item wardrobe, and on to reading about minimalism, and tidying and new blogs and new books – my mind is a jumble of a million thoughts.

But I will save most of this for another day.

Last weekend, Greg and I began a minor home improvement project at Away. This project became a necessity when we noticed one of our kitchen cabinets separating from the wall. The need to do something short of a kitchen remodel, which is not in the cards – yet – adds to my already scattered thoughts.

Ballard Design Vigneto Wine Shelf

Cautiously prying the cabinet from the wall – hoping the wall doesn’t follow:

Greg: When you and Chessie were out walking, did you notice that our neighbors extended the road to the top of the mountain?

Me: Hmmmm, What? Why? – but that is crazy! Won’t it be hard to get up there in the winter? Let’s check it out tomorrow morning.

And so, with the almost spring-like Vermont sun shining, we traipsed upward. We’ve climbed this way many times before – always forging our own path. This time, though, we followed the new road, carving through the forest, to a clearing. And there – I felt I was on top of the world.

mountain top zen

As I stood, gazing around me – breathe in, breathe out… The pine scented air like my own personal Christmas – its gift, tranquility – zen. And then I understood – sometimes what seem like the “crazy” thing to do, makes all the sense in the world.

Books in my bag:

Currently reading – Chasing Slow, by Erin Loechner and Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert – food for the soul


8 responses to “Finding my zen”

  1. Sarah Avatar

    We have just returned from our own “away” vacation. I wish we had our own “away”, but then I would never come back. This is know as truth. Balance…such a hard beast to figure out. I am so happy up north, so alive, so filled with creative ideas, and then I come home and it is all gone. I need to find a way to keep that “away” spirit alive in the everyday.

    I read both of those book and they were great!

  2. Lynne Avatar

    Beautifully written . . .
    A zen moment to hold close . . .
    Loved the pine scented air Christmas moment . . .
    And your Chessie photo . . .
    (Hope the wall didn’t come tumbling down . . .)
    (Also . . . forgive me if this is a repeat . . . having difficulty leaving a comment.)

  3. Lisa Gordon Avatar

    That view is absolutely breathtaking, Karen.
    I would love to just sit there for a while.
    A long while. 🙂
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

  4. Debbie Avatar

    that’s a great spot for a zen moment…or two!! monday’s are just like sunday’s for me, so i don’t have to dread them!!

    you are the kind of person that needs more time at home, to “work” on your hobbies, ride your bike and photograph everything…

    your comparison of the woods to christmas is brilliant!!!

  5. Michelle B Avatar

    I think every house has a continual project list. It seems one thing gets fixed and then you go on to the next. I am not complaining,..I know it is a blessing to own a home. 🙂 It looks like you found a great little spot for a break between projects and to catch your breath. Why is it so easy to forget to take a deep breath? It is like we feel the world will crumble if we take time away. Crazy thing is…most things don’t break when we give ourselves that little bit of time and just breath…

  6. Jeevan Avatar

    It’s something exciting always to take a new road and nothing like tracing into a forest… you got wonderful sunshine and sunny weather there although I could see some patch of snow?

  7. Carola Bartz Avatar

    Nature… simply the best. Definitely a Zen moment.

  8. Cheryl Crotty Avatar

    A lovely post. I think balance needs to be revisited often.
    I hope your cabinet project worked out for you.

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