A quite space for me is a place where I can think, find peace and calm, rejuvenate after a busy day. I have a few favourite quiet spaces. Inside church buildings. Many a time I have found myself sitting in Manchester cathedral after a spot of shopping around the city centre.
I like to go to the library from time to time. I can sit there for hours reading a book. I am fortunate enough to live close to a local park. I tend to go there when it is less busy so I can enjoy a quiet walk.
I have created my home environment to be a calming space. I can come home shut the doors and rest. I know this maybe different for those with families. I work in an environment where there is lots of interactions with people, so coming home is always a pleasure. I also like to spend time in the garden in the summer.
My car is another space where have some quiet time despite the noise from other vehicles and everything else. I think it’s the fact that I am not talking to anyone, 9/10 times I usually have the radio off.
Not so long ago I got the opportunity to attend the quiet space session where we walked along the canal in the city centre. The session was interesting in the sense that we had to pay particular attention to the sounds we heard and how the different sounds made us feel.
I did feel that after spending quite a bit of time in an environment that was noisy and busy, it made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I did find that after a while my coping skills kicked in. I found myself imagining the sounds I could from cars, buses, trains, worked men drilling, people’s foot steps were turning into a symphony. I must say though I was glad to find a quiet space during our walk.
I have also found that when I am at work, I will try and find some quiet space when I can even when if it means sitting comfortably quiet with someone else in the room. It is important to have a 5 minute break.
Coming from a different culture and environment ( I am from Zambia) and now living in the UK, It did take a lot adjusting new sounds and spaces. I did find that certain spaces I was not used to made me feel uncomfortable, would find myself out of my depth, making me feel quite homesick. I found myself wanting to hear familiar sounds. Hearing birds chirping away was and is still a welcome sound.
I do try to incorporate my quite spaces whenever I can. I know sometimes it is not possible but we can adjust accordingly and adopt some coping mechanisms. I will summarise the mechanism by a beautiful quote I came across. Not sure who wrote these words:
‘when it rains look for the rainbows’
‘when it dark look for the stars’
I use these words as my daily mantra.