Thursday, August 18, 2011

Finding Solitude

I can hardly see the keyboard to type as the sun is setting over the lake. The lake is reflecting the orange and pink of the western sky. It is peaceful except for the occasional dog bark that echos across the lake and the water skier trying to squeeze in one more run before sunset. My camera is at my side, Amos Lee playing in the background as the wakes and the wind create a gentle splash on the dock. There are still a few boats taking their "evening constitutional" around the lake to see what is going on. Ah..... now the silence sets in as the sky darkens. The pine trees that the Evergreen State are known for, create an ominous silhouette in the night sky and are reflected in the rippling lake. Even the rippling is slowing and settling in for the night. I hear a few girls giggle echoing across the lake as well. The dark descends rapidly and the bats begin their evening swoop to gather their evening snack of insects. I am spent after a day of scrubbing, furniture refinishing and various chores that called to me. My body aches. I finally settled in with a glass of wine, some leftover barbecued meat and some simple tomato salad I put together, and finally attempted to STOP.  To digest the day and savor the feeling of hard work and down time. The sun sets and rests. The water on the lake turns to glass and it rests. The crows that create the morning symphony rest now. It is now time for me to listen. To listen to nature, as it quiets and tucks in for the evening. I have a big day of projects on deck for tomorrow, if I can only settle in too, and sleep. The night is so quiet that every little evening sound and bump in the night is magnified. I am so used to the sounds of the city. The dumpster crashing, the rattling bottles in the shopping carts. Now it is time to become friends with the evening sounds of the lake. Is it a raccoon on the roof, a deer out for a snack in the garden, a hummingbird wondering if I have put out her new feeder yet? The house settling? It knows how to settle. I will try to listen to the lake, the house, the critters and the world settling in. Can I listen and learn as well? I am alone with my thoughts, the water, the breeze, the insects, the bats, the croaking toads, the swaying trees the quieting lake. How do I learn to settle in too as the day comes to an end and the darkness descends? Yet another lesson to learn from nature. The sun will rise in the morning and there will be a crispness in the air as I sip my coffee on the porch. The day begins, but the day must first be put to rest to gain strength to meet the new day. I have big plans that I would love to let unfold, but I must first rest. Or can I actually allow myself to rest tomorrow, to allow? The mosquitos are beckoning me inside. The sky is almost completely dark. The day is coming to an end and so must I put the doing and the thinking to rest. I long for the quiet rest that Mother Nature finds no difficulty reaching. It is mine for the taking. I just have to reach out as naturally as Mother Nature does. It is effortless and the only way she can thrive. All I have to do is watch, listen and allow. It is all I have to do. Why does the non-doing seem more difficult for me than the doing? Yet another lesson to learn, practice, the beginners mind has me back at the start once again. I long to learn the lesson, this time............maybe tonight..........maybe tomorrow............

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