Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Tending Our Inner Gardens

For this final issue of 2019, I look ahead to the last season of the year, winter.

I have an antagonist relationship with winter. I am not fond of its short days, cold, biting winds that seep into my bones and its eternal gray skies that zap my spirit and paralyze my imagination. Life’s routine takes on a different hue, an altered mood. Every year I attempt to approach the oncoming winter as an opportunity to slow my pace, turn inward and welcome the time spent in my own company. So I was heartened to come across this quote by Rilke describing winter as “the season for tending to one’s inner garden” that seems to capture, in just a few words, a sense of what I’ve been seeking.

Silence is built into musical compositions and is part of the whole experience. And though people may think it odd that I rarely listen to music when I am alone in the house, it is one way I incorporate silence into my life’s own composition. I’ve always found it to be soothing, wrapping me up in an atmosphere that permits my thoughts to wander without distraction or disturbance, alighting on unexpected places. It is in this quiet that other sounds make themselves known: buzzing light bulbs, the whispering air, the pulsing of my blood in my ear. My mind empties as it embraces the “sounds of silence”!

Autumn, in the meantime, balances out the bookends of summer and winter. We move from hot, humid days to a chillier, golden landscape. I gradually adjust to and accept the eventual arrival of nature’s hibernation, her dormant time to store up energy that is then released in the spring, giving us glorious color and a feeling of becoming fully awake again.

This winter I will strive to appreciate the “bleakest season” as a “necessary counterpoint to the electricity of spring”. Adam Gopnik believes that without winter, “we would be playing life with no flats or sharps”. A promise maybe, that winter’s dissonances will more brightly illuminate the magnificence of spring.

This winter, may that deeper garden of a quieter existence, the one beneath the topsoil, nurture something splendid that will make its appearance when the seasons allow.

Wishing you all a happy ending to 2019. October 20, 2019. Autumn Light.

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