As Les, Kai and I spend our day after the day after and recover from the cacophony of late evening pops, bangs, booms and flashes of rural pyrotechnics… I had the pleasure of running across an article in WAPO by Sally Jenkins, “When the World Gets Too Loud, It’s Time To Go Fishing”. She’s quite a talented writer…
If you get a chance, look it up and read the whole deal-e-o. One passage caught my eye and more:
“Whatever or whoever you think the Maker is, if any, maybe the task assigned you right now is this: You’re supposed to be still and listen.”
I rather like the non-denominational or even agnostic inclusivity of: “if any”. That works for me. I’m not big on organized religion, or most “religion” for that matter. I’m sure that isn’t a shock to those who know me well… Many have stated that money is the root of all evil. Others… that the lack of money is the root. I’m inclined to believe that religion may well be the root of all evil, or rather it’s interpretation and branding / proselytizing may well be. More planetary death has been realized at the hands of religion that most other kinds, with the exception of a certain asteroid that hit the Earth a bit ago…
I prefer to live in what I loosely call a spiritual world. But that is most likely my ignorance and inability to comprehend what is actually going on in the human path. Be that as it may, one thing that seems to stand out in stark review: It is very difficult for most people to just be still. Listening… well that can be even harder if stillness has not been attained. Both of these things are skills that require a bit of discipline and may well be of benefit when nurtured and given a place to land and flourish.
Let’s get back to being still. I’d like to tell a short story on being still and listening. It is a bit convoluted as most stories are… I was fishing for trout on an Eastern Sierra Lake, Silverlake, up on the June Lake loop a couple years back. I was just sitting in a beach chair bathed in the mountain sun catching the odd trout. This Mallard hen came waddling up softly chucleclucking to me and sat down next to my chair and fell asleep. Paradise found… She didn’t ask for a thing, but protection from whatever was hunting her. She was tired. I was safe. I stopped fishing and closed my eyes.
Silver Lake is at 7200 feet and is just East of the Sierra Divide. We were there together for hours… I just sat there in my chair being still and listening. Listening to the katabatic winds roaring off the Sierra summits to the West, rambling down the avalanche chutes, and tussling through the aspens and buckbrush surrounding the lake. By the time they reached us and pressed across the surface of the lake, I could hear the tiny whitecaps landing on the beach where both of us were concealed. I didn’t need to open my eyes to decipher what the winds were doing. I was still. She was still. After a couple of hours she just waddled off… and left me immensely grateful for the experience. I packed up my gear and went back to camp.
Be still. Listen as closely as you can. Stay still. Listen. Be safe.