A single rain drop poised in the bend of a shepherd’s hook. Photo by Norma Thatcher

When I took my husband to his first Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert, he thought he would be hearing Russian symphonies. Uh, no. TSO is a rock group.

If you’re not familiar with the TSO name, you still likely have heard their music during the Christmas season. Their signature song is Christmas/Sarajevo but it’s better known as Carol of the Bells, a BIG song. And it’s a HUGE number as their concert finale replete with fireworks and a laser light show.

You can also find various videos on You Tube where homeowners have synchronized their outdoor Christmas lights to the TSO version of the song.

While I’m a huge fan of the group and that particular rendition, it can be auditorily overstimulating. (Especially if you listen to sixteen versions of it trying to find the best one to link in a blog.)

Sometimes I just need to listen to quieter music such as Yo-Yo Ma on cello accompanied by Kathryn Stott on piano.

Even less sound that produces more stillness within me is that of my large wind-chime on the front porch. I hear just a few notes now and then and I find that less is more.  

The same is true with visual stimulation. Many of us truly enjoy the stunning nature photographs posted online – mountains, waterfalls, sunsets, sunrises, forests, the ocean, and flowers. How beautiful the world is!

And yet, there are times when the focus of close-up photography calms my brain and soul in a way that a masterpiece landscape shot of a mountain range cannot.

Both of these “less is more” examples say to me, “Slow down. Breathe in a long breath. Take notice of right now.”

Many of you likely have your own practice that reminds you to slow down and savor a moment. If so, please share. And if not, feel free to borrow mine until you find your own.

Photo by Norma Thatcher