Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Sounds of Silence

With all the hustle and bustle that happens in our day to day lives, it's hard to notice all the simple and amazing things that continuously surround us. Simple things like, the shadow of a tree dancing in a slow breeze or amazing things like a wisp of cloud stretched out to defy the blues of clear sky.

I, like most, am guilty – to a certain degree – of this infraction, but I do my best to find small windows of opportunity where I can ‘unplug’ from the world to become an observer.

A couple of Saturdays ago, I woke to an empty house. Joanne had to work the morning shift at the animal hospital and I slept in. I thought of all the things that I had to do that day and then I decided that it was about time that I had ‘a day without me’ and then my schedule opened right up.

I didn’t turn my computer on to scan any children’s peace art. I didn’t call anyone or even answer the phone when it rang. I didn’t go to the library to check my emails. I didn’t even turn on the television or radio.

But I did go out to my backyard, brush off a patio chair and let a cup of tea warm my hands as I let the sunshine warm my face.

It was one of those rare winter days where the winds were almost non-existent, the sky was blue and the air was filled with silence. I felt the tea warming my body as I sat with eyes closed, facing the sun. My chest rose and fell with each fresh breath and I basked in my winter wonderland and let the troubles of the world pass me by.

When I have moments like this, where I separate myself the world to become a peaceful observer, I am always amazed by the amount of activity that occurs in a seemingly empty place. Every few minutes a short breeze would blow by to lift the lightest snows off of the laden tree branches. These bursts of dazzling crystals would cascade outwards from the trees like winter spirits performing pirouettes as they descended to the ground.

Two chickadees flew by, like fighter jets in a game of tag. They had flown just above my neighbour’s hedge and into my backyard just a few feet away from where I was sitting. I think I startled them more than they had startled me. They were so close that I could actually hear their wind beneath their wings as they zoomed by.

My backyard was an amusement park for my senses. Mother Nature always puts on a spectacular show!!!

Something caught my attention, from just two yards away, and I lifted my head to get a clearer view. With brown wings spread out a small hawk lifted into the sky, coming towards me. It seemed like I could make out individual feathers of dark patterns separated with forks of white as it flew over my head. I turned to watch it continue on its course and the hawk bent its head so that one of its eyes could peer right at me. I smiled in wonder!

After about an hour and a half I became inspired to capture some of these snowy images with my camera. The high puffs of snow that were perched on top of some dead flowers seemed to defy gravity. The shadows of the surrounding trees as they fell across my backyard intrigued my visual senses with all of the contrasting tones of white. The flow of the snow as it had been formed with the winds, on top of my back hedge was full of so much texture and movement.

I think that I could have spent the rest of the day, just wandering around my backyard with my camera in hand, but soon this special time was over.

Joanne came home and I greeted her. She asked why I was looking so peaceful and relaxed. I told her that for over two hours I had done absolutely nothing. “I just sat in our backyard and watched and listened and was amazed!”

My condition was contagious and soon Jo’ and I both settled into the rest of this quiet day. I spent a short time enjoying a book while Joanne stared out the window enjoying a warm hot chocolate. We puttered around doing a few household chores and then it was time to take Koly for a romp through the snow.

The television stayed off, throughout most of the evening, as I spun a few vinyl discs on my record player. After dinner I decided that I had been lazy enough all day long and that it was time for me to do something. I got out a pencil and began to layout my design for a wall mural that I want to paint in our living room.

Ahhhhh! But that’s another story….


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