Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Rushing Into Stillness

I have felt the stress of busyness lately.  The weekend left no room for rest, and I started the week strung high on adrenaline.  There's a countdown to the end of this week.  A countdown to rest, to a break from the routine.  

I unexpectedly found a break this evening, returning home to my parents house to assess the meaning of a bright orange light on my dashboard.  The additional bonus was grabbing a sleeping bag to cover me while I sleep outside the door of 12 or so of my female students as we celebrate the end of the semester with a lock in.  

Guiding the car up the gravel driveway, feeling every inch of its quarter-mile length, I notice a bright light on the horizon.  I stop, thinking briefly that it's a neighbor's Christmas lights.  But my parents have no neighbors.  It's only once I fully stop, and even reverse a bit, do I see the source of the light.  The moon.

I hurry the rest of the way up the hill, put the car in park, and head to the back deck.  The night is still.  A type of stillness that I grew up with but that, lately, has escaped me.  The weight of silence is familiar yet foreign, the night seems poised somewhere between surrender and expectation.

The moon hangs low, bright and full.  I feel the weight of it and it glows a color that isn't quite gold but isn't quite yellow.  I have no name for the color and my inability to capture its beauty leaves me wanting.

There is no wind, the only sounds come from the occasional bark of a distant dog or the whoosh of a car.  The trees, bent by the wind, stand like old soldiers, keeping watch over the rising moon.  Their dark forms break up the horizon.  Even the sky is a consistent shade of indigo, scattered with stars.

The air is cool and clean.  I find not much other than my hands are chilled, a blessing as usually I am quick to be cold.  Just the act of breathing is renewing, and I feel somehow less burdened by life.  I watch as blinking planes carry people to far off places and think about my own upcoming adventure.

I am looking forward to being able to live in the moment, a task that somehow seems easier when one is outside of things familiar.  I have been keeping my eyes open for the small things, and have had a few returns on my investment.  But still I wonder - what am I missing in the daily living, not because I fail to look but because I fail to truly pay attention?

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