Thursday, October 20, 2011

Feeling Free

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the importance of peace and quiet. Just like when I was an undergraduate, I always seem to forget how important these things are. Tuesday night I had a big party at my house for a group of Notre Dame students who were in town over fall break (what a lovely group of students - I'm sad I didn't get to spend even more time with them). That event, fun as it was, left me pretty drained by the end of it. Then on Wednesday, I went to report on a protest downtown. I followed the marchers through DC. I somehow managed to interview half a dozen of them as they swirled and shoved around me, police officers corralling us into line so that cars could pass us, rain dripping on my notebook and smearing my roughly scribbled notes. Then I went back to the office and wrote up an article about it. I was supposed to go participate in a PP clinic protest that night, and then a discussion and prayer night at the Dominican House of Studies, but something inside me snapped and wouldn't let me go. For the first time in my life (or the first time I can remember), I decided to skip an event (two events!) in favor of some me time.

And folks, it was awesome. I went home and heated up some dinner. Then I cleaned my whole kitchen, put a load in the dishwasher and hand-washed a mountain of tupperware that had been sorely in need of it. I went for a run (did I mention I'm training for an 8k? Wish me luck!) and took a shower. Then I sat in my living room and read Walker Percy, cozy and comfy in my fluffy pink bathrobe. Sarah came home and sat in the living room with me, checking email and Facebook on the couch, the two of us sitting in contented, companionable silence. (I really think chummy silence is under-rated, don't you?).

Before I went to bed I poured myself a tall glass of water and went out on the porch to admire the night.  It was a little wet and very pretty out. I couldn't see stars but I could see the bright city lights and feel a wild, boisterous wind blowing fresh and cold against my face. Mmmm. I don't know when I last felt so free. This year in DC has been a gift beyond my expectations. My life is so different from anything I ever wanted, and yet better than I dreamed. So full of happiness. So blessed. I marveled at it, on the balcony last night before I went to sleep. Who knew 22 would be this good?

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