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  • I still go back to the Bridge

    The Sound of Stillness

    I grew up in the florist and Greenhouse business. It is interesting to watch as life goes on how words change with their meaning. Greenhouse, in my life, has been an all glass building to grow food or plants especially in the colder climates. We all can forecast that will change for the future as Green Houses will be environmentally friendly and efficient places we will live.

    I was not aware of it at the time but I was growing up in a very hectic, seven day a week, never shut down or stop, business. A piece of that has carried on throughout my life.

    I also grew up with the exact opposite of the hectic part and it was in the same place. In what we called “the big house” (large greenhouse), where the ceiling height was higher and the larger plants were kept, I often could be found. It was serene, peaceful and quiet except the sound of the ever present birds chirping away, what a winter haven for them.

    Again, without realizing, it at the time, this is where I learned to go when I wanted to feel good, to settle down, regroup and think. Maybe to even be by myself (a non hectic space).

    With a workshop retreat, for corporate executives, I was part of a few years ago I was going over the importance of stillness and meditation especially around decision making and creativity. It was not going over very well as it was to foreign to almost everyone. I asked them, on their break, to walk down a short path that was outside, next to a running stream. As they did this and came across a small, wooden, arched bridge, I asked them to stop, just for a minute, and stand on the bridge. Next step was to close their eyes, take a slow relaxed breath and listen to the sound of the water, without thinking about other things, only the present sound of the water flowing on it’s natural path.

    Now to the message part. A few years later I ran into one of the people that had been present at that event. After saying “hello”, the next words out of her mouth were “I still go back to the bridge”. It took me a few seconds to catch up to her and she meant.

    Think about how powerful that simple little exercise was and still is for her. Then also think about how powerful it still is for me. It reminded me of my Greenhouse days, the birds, the plants, the quiet that I can also still go back to when I want or need to.

    So for helping me remember, thank you Mary Conlon, now a manager for The Bank of Castile in Greece New York.

    “I still go back to the Greenhouse”.

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