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The complete guide to a peaceful evening - cottage style

Moving to the land for us was full of a glamorous perception of endless serenity, quietness and peaceful vibes. Little we knew that living on a working farm is far from all these naive expectations.

As if it was not enough we decided to have ANIMALS in our hectare and it turned out this size of land is not enough to isolate from the noises.

Serenity is definitely out of the question at 3.50 am when a young rooster proudly demonstrates its vocal abilities and the annoyed peacock replies back and the disturbed cow starts shushing them, and the alpacas think there is a danger and support the halabaloo with their “alert, alert!” whistling, and pukekos start screeching, and 300 ewes of a next door paddock decide it is the end of the world and behave accordingly, and your own husband joins with a swearing from under the pillow that he tried to use to block his ears.

And then there is a sudden peace…

Welcome to the country paradise :)

However the quet evenings are the most blissful time of the day and the best we can do is to celebrate them by immersing ourselves into the peacefulness as much as possible.

And if you want to forget about all the worries of the world when everyone is fed, the chores are done and the sunset is throwing its beauty upon you from the sky - it is the best time.

So what do you think of the words “ the peaceful evening cottage style”?

(The winter evening is actually a different story from the summer one. And as it is winter at the moment - with the frost and the fire - it offers a special kind of peacefulness and I love it the same as the summer one.)

For me the main thing is to remember that “No Peace lies in the future, which is not hidden in this present little instance” (was mentioned by the artist monk Fra Giovanni way ago in Medici’s times of the 15th century) so let's allow our hearts to find rest in today.

Easier said when done especially if the mind is running 50 miles a second, but it is possible with an effort. I believe that generally happiness is an effort, at the beginning at least, just when you start practicing it.

So the ultimate peaceful evening with a family for me is when everyone is at home and I am letting all the worries go and bask in the moment created with an effort to notice the beauty of it. I could stop right here but I would love to remind myself and maybe you about a couple of other things.

1. First and number one condition - no phones that take us away from the moment - wherever possible but away from our own lives. It got to the stage that it feels weird to be without the phone and even brings an anxiety with nothing to lead the process of thinking and attention.

Finally the mind has to take over and start working for our benefit not for the benefit of the “sales and attention funnels”.

We free the space for the mind to start noticing: the beauty of the flowers in the little jar on the table, the color of the sky, the sounds of the cracking fire, the funny snoring of dog, the smell of a tea or a pie, the taste of it (!), the warmth of a blanket, the feeling of hugging someone who is next to you… and it can be so many other things but you have got the idea.

Noticing the joy for all five senses (see, hear, smell, taste, touch) brings us to now and slows us down.

2. Cosiness as you know it. Anything that helps you to feel safe and relaxed. For some people it is blankets on the floor, for some candles on the table, for some - music, for some - warm socks, and a yummy food or drink or both…

3.Family snuggled around. We usually start with a board game and then it opens the gates for the talks and discussions and questions and answers, especially if there is a theme prepared.

4. Reading together. Taking turns is great but if it is just me reading aloud (I had to force that at first :) What joy it brings! We are reading “My family and other animals” by Gerald Durrel at the moment and have a lot of good laughs and kind jokes as it is so easy to find similar situations in our own lives.

5.This comes to laughing together. But it would be silly to have it as a separate element - imagine the awkwardness of having a list of things to do during the evening - "tick, the laugh is done". It happens as a part of a game, a talk, a read or whatever is happening.

6. Creating together. It can be one project for all, for example a family collage or taking turns exercising in haiku with the given theme or prompts.

7.Playing the game “What if”... with the prompts for each other.

All this can be summed up with just one sentence: talking and sharing ideas and something yummy, in front of the fire, with the soft light and quiet music (or without).

With all this said ideal evening can be different for many, especially if we take into account the circumstances.

What is the one element (being added or taken out of the “equation”) would make a perfect peaceful evening for you?

Have a creative week,



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