Rough. Look it up. This word has many definitions: 1. Not quite exact or correct 2. An irregular surface 3. Full of hardship or trials 4. Violently agitated and turbulent 5. Unpleasantly harsh or grating in sound 6. Unkind, cruel, or uncivil 7. Not perfected
Any number of these definitions could be creatively applied to life.
Moment. 1. A particular point in time 2. An indefinitely short time 3. At this time 4. Having important consequence or influence
Every moment affects you. When the moments of rough begin to have too much influence, the moments of smooth may seem completely out of reach.
But they are there. I promise the smooth is still there.
Look for it.
Silence. No tv. No podcasts. No music. No internet. No social media. No books. No other people. No other world but my own.
My house is falling into darkness. No overhead lights. No lamps. A single beam of sun lining the hall as the sun sets behind the trees.
I sit back on my bed, nestled into a pile of pillows. I pull up a blanket.
I take off my glasses. Without them I cannot see clearly two feet in front of my face. I look toward the open window where everything now blurs like I live in a Monet painting.
I close my eyes. I place my hand on my stomach and feel myself breathing, slow and constant, in a way that calms my mind.
I listen to the quiet that isn’t quiet at all. The crickets, the birds, children playing, shouting indistinctly in the distance, even the regular stream of traffic racing by, come together in concert to form the symphony that I recognize as home.
I smell the wonderful, unmistakable scent of autumn. Neighbors grilling dinner on their patios, leaves drying as their trees prepare to sleep the winter away, and the indescribable change in the breeze that is ushering in my favorite season.
I feel that breeze glide in through my window and brush my face.
For a moment my joints don’t ache, my head doesn’t hurt, I don’t have a million trains of thought jumping the tracks of my brain. The urge to write, to create, even something small, is stronger than the overhelming heaviness of exhaustion.
For a moment I wish life could stand still and be like this forever.
But inevitably I realize, as I always do, that moments like this can only be fully appreciated as gifts if they are experienced amidst the chaos and struggle and glory of daily life.
My wish then is not for time to stand still and be locked in peace and calm, my hope is instead that I remember to make myself stop and look for the smooth moments. They don’t often come running at you screaming, “Hey! I’m here to save you from The Rough!” You have to seek them out. Create them out of thin air, if you must. But the smooth moments can be found. I know they are still there. And those smooth moments will save you from The Rough.