Sitting silently on the earth

The sun peeked through a lingering cloud, still low in the sky but rising, burning, lighting the way into another day. A gust of wind set the pine trees to swaying back and forth as if painting the sky with their needles. I sat down on a cushion of leaves, feeling the cool dampness of earth seep into my jeans, and closed my eyes. A woodpecker drummed. A chickadee called. The creek burbled quietly.

A breeze kissed my cheeks, and I wrapped my hands around my tea mug, absorbing its warmth. As I lifted it to my lips, the musty scent of woods and moss mingled with the warm aroma of Echinacea and elderberry. I opened my eyes and spotted a patch of cranefly orchid leaves stretched across the leaf litter, patiently waiting for the day when their flower stalks emerge from the ground once more.

In this moment, the world made sense, felt whole, full of heartbeat and breath. In this moment life was carrying on, changing and adapting to the seasons, content to be here now. This was peace. This was not the world on the brink of war (again). Not another hate crime or racially-motivated shooting. Not children going hungry or being abused. Not politics or religion or fear or anger or any of the thousands of ideas our cultures have invented to separate us and keep us at odds with each other and our environment. No. This moment was true and real and honest and peaceful.

Sitting silently on the earth drinking tea on a late winter morning, I wondered how different the world might be if everyone started their days this way. In a place of stillness, with humility and grace, feeling the heartbeat of the earth, with gratitude for participating in life’s dance, breathing, listening, being.

I heard a squeaking sound, and I looked up. Two trees rubbed together, touching, sharing a moment. They need each other. They communicate in silence, but provide support to each other whenever one of them needs it. No questions asked. Connection, communication, humility, gratitude… all while sitting silently on the earth.

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