All my moments of stillness have coincided with stillness in the world.
For example, a wooded hillside one winter afternoon. I’d been wandering around the park for an hour or so and I veered off the marked trail and onto this hillside, where I sat in the snow at the base of a tree and looked out and did not move for a while.
And nothing else moved either. No wind set the leafless trees creaking or rustled their few remaining leaves. No distant whine of a highway. No voices or dogs barking. Not a bird or a squirrel. After I sat for a minute, there was not even the sound of my own breath filling and emptying my lungs.
The quiet seemed tangible in the atmosphere amidst the tree trunks and I could breathe it in. As I inhaled, stillness entered me. As I exhaled, so went nervousness and agitation.
I have had similar moments since then on trout streams and wilderness lakes, on the rocky shores of the St. Croix River and in the mountains of Montana, and they have all been moments just as wonderful, but they have also all been moments shaped on that original form, that wooded hillside, that winter afternoon.
[tags]stillness, hiking, quiet, outdoors[/tags]