I've always been a little unsure of bigger cities. I, of course, love what they have to offer, and the beauty and the diversity and the pulse is all so amazing to me. But I also get terribly overstimulated by noise, traffic, and busyness - not to mention the sometimes-intensity of human interactions, experience and emotion that is found when you're surrounded by so many people. I always feel so swept up in that, and a little overwhelmed.
I had a meeting for the book in Boston yesterday, which Steve offered to drive me down for, and we decided to turn into a day long 'date' without the babes (a little shopping, some thrifting, and a lot of eating. Good fun). Granted, it was a date in which I left for four hours in the middle, but he was thrilled to be alone in the city with no responsibilities whatsoever. He walked and walked, watching, talking, and taking it all in. Later, when we met up again, I flipped through the photos he had taken on his walk, and suddenly, something clicked for me about the city that I had never seen before. There was quiet. There was stillness. Amidst all the chaos and busyness around (which is what I am inclined to notice), he saw peace, quiet, and nature in the middle of it all. And some of that stillness seemed to actually be the noise itself, if that makes any sense at all. His photos had such a peace about them that I never would have imagined coming from the city. And that, my friends, is just what he does in life. I'm sure it's what made him able to guide whitewater rafts, and kayak in the most intense of whitewater with calm and ease. And I bet it's what makes him a level-headed mediator in his work. And I know it's what makes him a patient and strong parent and husband.
Yesterday, right in the middle of the city, I was inspired by him once again. To stop, take a breath, and find the calm within first, and then the calm amidst the chaos aroud us - the same search as the peace in the discord of parenting, and the still in the busyness of our lives. The quiet in the noise.