How to do nothing
Do something, do and do and do,
whispers a voice I always assumed was my own.
But what if not doing is a better choice?
An act of kindness not only to myself, but to my children,
to the spaces I inhabit and the values I hold within.
Something is awry if the act of stopping hurts the most,
when rest is a force of illness and not of freedom,
and every moment is beholden to productivity or guilt
I have kept a blog for many years
almost half my life, it's evidence of my doing:
words and photographs for show and tell
and belonging (adoration and validation),
but they will always be a poor imitation
a carefully framed illusion,
never quite delivering, deep contentment
to me, or you.
What if there's another way to document our lives
that doesn't reduce our stories and feelings and places
and things into a shadowy reflection?
And it's as simple as doing nothing:
just being present in our own flesh and bones,
hearing each other speak, pausing.
We have a bush of Hebe in the front garden
that is gloriously awash with pink flowers -
it is pretty to behold but it's the sound
that stops me in my steps
of many hundreds of bees, gathering
I walk every day on the farm
it is my summer prayer:
to feel the dry earth under my feet
and hear the birds and smell the dry grass
and let myself be seen, moving
without hope to take away or consume
I am knitting a top from unravelled yarn
there is no need to rush,
and so it emerges with kinks and crinkles
at the pace that is life right now:
up and down, and all over the place.
Summer is a contrast
blue sky and grey earth,
golden grass and flame flowers,
cloudy and sunny and dry and crisp
slow and steady and changeable:
it is nothing and everything.
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ABOUT the author
Emily Clare Sims is a farmer and mama to three young boys. Each day she looks for ways to notice beauty, contemplate her faith and savour the seasons...