Although I love being active, a part of me also yearns for and requires solitude on a regular basis, say one or two days a week. I think of quiet days as restorative; they allow me to clear the clutter from my mind, focus inward, cogitate on what has been happening in my life, and meditate to slow down the world and find balance.
Today was one of those quiet days. It started with getting up later since my yoga classes are not in session this week; joining my husband (who’s been home sick all week) at the breakfast table for reading the NY Times, and dueling ipads. Let’s be honest: the first thing I did was to see if there were comments on my recent post about planning a trip to Spain. There were several 🙂
After my newspaper/internet time, I rose from the table and began the day’s chores. First gathering the breakfast dishes, then starting up a new load of laundry. Now I am beginning to feel productive; cross laundry and dishes off the mental list.
Next up is my daughter who has the day off from work. She mentions going for a walk and duck-watching along the shore of the harbor. Since I have been somewhat sedentary for the past day or so due to neck and shoulder issues, I agree to her idea. I shift part of the laundry to the dryer, press Perma-Press, and put on my walking gear.
Off we go in my PT Cruiser to our starting point just 2 minutes from my house. We grab our binoculars and set off on our walk. First my daughter spots the Buffleheads, one of her favorite winter birds because, she says, they are like bobbing bathtub toys…so cute.
Next we see a duck we’ve seen only once before and pay closer attention to its features: one gender has a black bill; the mate has a yellowish bill.It has a grayish body with white feathers on its sides and a very dark black butt. The other genders feathers are much less well defined. It must be the female.
A little farther on our walk and we encounter ducks we’ve seen at a distance, but today they are closer. I guess they are black ducks because they are so dark overall, and through my binoculars I cannot see any defining features. We’ll have to look up both kinds of ducks in our bird books when we get home.
As we reach the half-way point of our walk, a local beach with a deck we like to sit on for sunning, I see a man sitting on the picnic table bench whose shape looks vaguely familiar. Surprisse! He’s a close family friend also sunning and enjoying the view and the quiet of the day. We chat with him for a while. He leaves and we continue sunbathing for another 10 minutes.
We head back on our walk,see the same ducks we saw earlier, and check them out once again with our binoculars. We get back into the PT Cruiser and head home. First thing I do is take the laundry out of the dryer, and put the “delicates” in.
Next I eat a hearty lunch of leftover turkey chile and cous-cous because I am following Weight Watchers and I am really hungry. As I am eating, my daughter identifies the ducks we saw: Sure enough, the darker ducks are American Black Ducks, and the two-colored bill ducks are Gadwalls.
I also begin writing this post as I am having my lunch, eager to get today’s entry done because I have a busy night ahead. In a couple of hours I’ll be meeting my son who is coming out from Brooklyn to attend a lecture with a friend on racism, in a local synagogue. He will then return home with me and we will spend a couple of hours together as a family before bedtime.
It’s been a quiet, well-paced day. Some chores have been done; I have engaged in controlled eating and good exercise; two new types of ducks have been identified; some relaxing time was spent with a friend; I still have the laundry to fold; I will be listening to an informative lecture in a few hours; my son will be visiting overnight.
And best of all…tomorrow’s a snow day which probably means some time in front of the fireplace; a leisurely family breakfast with the NY Times; sharing a couple of meals and perhaps a trip for sushi for dinner (my son’s request), weather permitting.
Life is good, and even quiet days can be filled with surprises!