The grandkids have come and gone. It was a whirlwind two days, the house filled with their yelps and screams and laughter, little feet running up and down the hall, toys strewn helter skelter in every room, markers and paper out, rubber chickens and pigs being squeezed. Life with a 6 and a 3-year old proclaiming their exuberant little selves inside the same house where their mom and aunt used to do the same. I love it.
But there’s also something to be said for the space and silence of a clean, orderly room, counter and table surfaces with a bit of emptiness, a welcome quiet and every object in its proper place. I love this too.
The contrast is akin to a Balinese Festival and a Japanese Rock Garden. The former awash with color and cooking smells and incense and loud gamelan music and vibrant dancing and the buzz of the crowd and the squawks of the roosters and barking of the dogs and singing of the birds and chirping of the frogs. A feast for the senses, everything loud, alive, vibrant, in motion. Like grandkids in a small house.
The Japanese garden is mostly grey, white and black, an oasis of cultivated emptiness and welcome spaciousness, the people silent observers off to the side of the picture, a visual and aural silence that invites tranquility, reflection, calm attention to quiet breathing. Like grandparents alone in their houses.
I love them both. Either alone would start to get on my nerves, but the conversation between the two is just right, the proper balance between full immersion into the glory and chaos of life and time apart to reflect, savor, order and enjoy some needed peace and quiet.
Wishing us all a bit of both Bali and Japan in our lives.