Stillness

Evening ritual of easy porch glider and sip of drink. But tonight's the kind of eerie quiet that makes one want to hide—the whole world holds its breath in anticipation…of what?

An otherworldly rattle answers from the southwest. I hardly have time to realize this imminent threat is more likely some form of plastic dragging from truck, then it relents.

My ears wait for the familiar melody of day’s end but there is only a hot and humid hush. No distant thunder. No chorus of birdsong. Only tweet of titmouse and hiss of cicada. I swat a mosquito and search for the beauty in the moment, as is my discipline of late, even in this disturbing stillness.

 Dia, 2018

Dia, 2018

That is it entirely: the stillness. The solace. This absence of activity is not an indication that something is amiss. The moment is not void, but full. Filled with peace.

It is complete.

It is enough.

Then the air slowly stirs. The flycatcher calls. A rumble rises as lawnmower stirs up dust and dog, and another dog, and another.

And just like that, my moment is lost. All is cacophony.

And questioning.

What do I want this new moment to be, at the very least, for me? Do I want to buzz with the noise surrounding, or settle into the stillness that was? Do we get to decide the tone of our own souls? Or are we at the mercy of every twist and turn of time?

I sit. And settle. And listen to the stillness within.