Creating a Clearing for Calmness and Stillness


Dear Reader:

Saturday morning I woke up early… refreshed and ready to join the rest of the people on our little planet…at least in my small corner of it.

I went to the Farmer’s Market…got there early (around 8) and actually found a parking place right across the street. It was fun to simply (leisurely) stroll through the avenues of vendors… while smelling wonderful bakery products, watching colorful snow cones being created, and talking to the vendors.

One container of impatiens (title photo) caught my eye…I couldn’t figure out at first what the container was made of…so I started talking to the vendor. She was actually selling home-made soaps…the kind that are supposed to soothe, calm, and relax us. If the vendor was an example for these types of soap baths…she was a good one.

She was soft-spoken and a woman of few words. It was as if she chose her words carefully and gave much thought to them before releasing them…not simply letting words pour out without a stopper. (like someone I know quite well…me!)

The vendor said that she decided to bring those flowers at the last minute…more as a decoration than anything else… she  just placed the 8 dollar tag on them minutes before I arrived. She had made the container…a type of rough cement peppered with cracks where moss broke through.

I told her how creative and pretty it was….I knew it would need to stay in the shade with the impatiens in it …but I asked her opinion about placement and care.

Once again…she quietly looked at me for a few moments and asked, “Do you have moss in your yard?

Excitedly…I exclaimed that I did…in my front yard around my Bradford Pear tree.

Do you have low lying branches on the tree?” she now asked.

“I do, I said…because I have a couple of bird feeders and sun dials hanging from the branches too.”

Is there a clearing under the tree where the moss is growing?” she responded.

I nodded “yes” and she asked one last question.

Do you live on a calm street in your neighborhood….not too many cars rushing by or constant loud noises?”

I assured her that I lived on a very quiet street with basically just the cars of neighbors (who lived on the street)… driving by.

She didn’t say anything but wrapped the container of impatiens up and said that the plant should do well there…the moss underneath the container, for whatever reason, seemed to provide a stable environment for the success of the flowers’ growth.

Remember…create a clearing de-cluttered from too much commotion…a calm place filled with stillness…we all need that…including our green friends.” She gave me a handshake and wished me well.


Saturday afternoon I was catching up with my mail and reading when I came across a section on achieving calmness and stillness within us. (Source: The Gifts of Imperfection-Brene Brown, Ph.D)

Under the subtitles (calm and stillness) in her wonderful book she gave this analogy and I just smiled. It was another “God’s Wink” and an arrow pointing to today’s blog’s message.

The author said that the words “calm” and “still” used to make her nervous and one day she remembered why. Didn’t we all grow up hearing our frustrated parents yelling at us in the backseat….”Calm down!” and “Be still!”?  So by adulthood negative images still persist with these terms.

We also connect these words to varying types of meditations which we might have tried and come up short…instead of using the time to think of nothing… making out our “to do” list for the grocery store and then feeling like a pretender in the group.

 Brene Brown says that she understands more fully what the definition of these two terms should be at this stage in her life:

“Stillness is not about focusing on nothingness; it’s about creating a clearing. It’s opening up an emotionally clutter-free space and allowing ourselves to feel and think and dream and question.”

What we need to be seeking is the “emotional outlet” that inspires us to separate ourselves from the world long enough to pause and reflect on our own journey…the portal that gives us glimpses of a different existence all together.

So until tomorrow… Let us  seek our own personal method, process, and place to talk to our Creator within the stillness of His world.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* New beauties continue to appear in the garden to make me smile….here are some of the latest to do so…
















Using my deductive reasoning…I am thinking the mysterious “fairy” additions to the garden must be the handiwork of Tim. When I arrived home Friday afternoon… the yard was cut and the next morning there was the fairy ladder and the mini-moon gate. He’s out of town this weekend for Memorial Day…but think my yard man decided to have a “little” fun!


Earlier in the week Lachlan turned two months and today is Jakie’s eighth month birthday anniversary. What a difference six months make now…but in a few years…not so much. They will both start school the same year and be in the same grade.

Fair warning teachers…in a blink of the eye…the Dingle/Turner gang will come riding into town!IMG_5026 (1)




“Tickle me Jakie”

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Creating a Clearing for Calmness and Stillness

  1. Gin-g Edwards says:

    Lately two verses come to me so often…”Be still and know that I am God.” The other is “Those that wait upon the Lord shall mount up…


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    The older I get the more “stillness” I want…until the grandchildren come!


  3. Johnny Johnson says:

    First let mr say that both Jackie and Lachlan are just adorable babies. I especially live the baldness of Jackie bu also the head full od dark hair Lachlan has. They are both handsome little men!
    I have to ask because I am not the best at names of flowers, but the deep purple flower with the bright golden yellow center absolutely made me say wow out loud! If I had to guess, I would say it was a type of Orchid. The flower is beautiful! I loved the deep purple with an almost ball of sun in the center. You have to tell me what that one is called including the color. My wife may know and I will ask her, but you seem to know the names of all your plants. All the rest were very pretty too it’s just that one took me the most, caught my eye if you will. I vould imagine sight unseen how very pretty your garden must be with all the color throughout the garden to catch the eye in every direction. Or that is in my imagining what it must look like. You hsve so many of Gods little wonders to sit and look at in the quiet of the morning! The quiet going with the theme of several blogs including all the little things in Gods WONDERFUL world, no matter how large or how small your part of the world those little wonders are there to see in the quiet time.


  4. Becky Dingle says:

    So true…the flower you are referring to is a lily…isn’t it gorgeous…I did the same thing…the purple is so deep it looked almost black with the yellow center…unbelievable.


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