For the past couple of weeks I've been feeling a call to spend even more time in the quiet of life, thinking less, reading less, speaking less. I even told a friend while visiting on the phone, "I'm tired of hearing my own voice. I find myself wanting to be still, to just listen and witness, to simply be present to the beauty of this world."
Last Sunday morning, as I was walking to the kitchen to put the coffee on, I paused at the living room window to look out and see what new tracks had been left in the freshly-fallen snow. Every day I'm rewarded with a variety of fresh animal tracks showing me they've been here but have become rather surreptitious in their timing. Which is to say, when Buddy's sleeping. In that moment I was able to condense this wish for quiet witnessing of the world into a simple phrase or two asking for more opportunities.
A short while later, I could hear something calling in the distance. Knowing there was no time to waste I flew out the front door and quickly rounded the corner of my house. There they were, coming towards me right above the treetops: six trumpeter swans moving as one, trumpeting as they passed. Their beautiful white wings against the deep blue sky seemed to be moving to the rhythm of life itself. I stood in the snow, watching. As they flew past me and down the driveway I could see their black bills, a flicker or two of their tongues as they called out, their black feet tucked in and held steady. And then, those luminous wings banked to the left and followed the river, in a perfect triangle of light.
Friend, you have read enough.
If you desire still more,
Then be the poem yourself,
And all that it stands for.
~ Angelus Silesius (1624-1677), from The Cherubinic Wanderer
The photograph, taken yesterday, is of the river that runs along the edge of my home here at Lonewolf.