After three days up at our apartment in Paris, we gratefully rumbled down the driveway to the house around midnight last night. We quickly emptied the car, made the Josie call--Joooooooossssiieeeeeeee--to check that all was right in cat world-read: not stuck up in a tree-and collapsed in an exhausted heap to bed. Around 2:30am I was rousted from my sound sleep by the pitiful squeakings of a wee little mouse in our bedroom. I fumbled around for the flashlight, cracked open an eye, and groggily followed the beam to the source of the sound. There was Josie, lolling around on the floor, on the J-O-B, or not, as the case may be, playing with her latest victim. Before I could gather the 'rescue' equipment and return to the bedroom, she had put the little bugger out of his misery....in one swift gulp. I know it's natural, but those years as a child when I had my little pet gerbil, well, that just translates to me always feeling bad for the little guys. But I digress...So I collapsed back into bed, and though my eyeballs went right back to sleep, my brain decided to ruminate....and I just laid there hanging out...and that's when it struck me. Nothing. That's all I heard...glorious, wondrous nothing. Our street in Paris is very quiet at night, for being in the middle of a major metropolis, but here in the country you really experience the true meaning of nothing....and in the short time we've now lived here, it is Everything.
During the day, when I sit in the house working at the pc and I stop for a moment to collect a thought or ponder the stupidity of a particular French situation...I am not interrupted by anything...I have to specifically focus to even hear something. The rustling of the trees...the distant hum of farm equipment that only rears it's head during particular periods--planting, tilling, wheat/corn culling, tilling again--the occasional moo of cows in neighbouring fields or the slightly off-crowing of our nearest neighbours' rooster (they are about a 10min walk from us) -he thinks the sun rises at 2 p.m. It's not just the thick stone walls that muffle the sounds, though I will forever love them for that particular benefit :), it's just that we have found the actual, physical meaning of peace. A peace so profound that we still struggle to believe we've found it this early in life....the kind of peace that no matter how shitty your day, and believe me we do have some shitty ones, you can stop, sit out front on the bench, take a walk down the drive, stand immobile and look in any distant direction from the house, circle the pond or just lay in the grass and stare up... and literally feel it drain away. Never, in all my dreamy days in Paris, did that ever happen...and why? Because there is just too much everything there, no moments of nothing.T and I have lost count of the times we've discussed this very thing and still remark every time we come home, 'God, I love it here--it's so beautiful, and so peaceful'....so zen. And in today's day and age you need that, that moment of Nothing, so you can jump right back into the pool of Everything and love it all over again.
So I leave you with two of my favourite contemplation images (do you know how hard it is to just pick two?) that always make me think 'what is it that they see?'....maybe something.....and yet, maybe they too are happy with their nothing.