Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I stood with a group of students watching me as the sun set above the hills over the Upper Potomac River in West Virginia. It was Summer and we were canoeing through the thick humidity of the mid Atlantic all day. Shortly after we had made camp and finished dinner I asked the students to join me at the waters edge. As I picked up a rock in the fading sun I explained that I wanted them to raise their hand when the last ripple from the rock had settled back to flat and disappeared from sight. I tossed one golf ball sized pebble as far as I could. It plopped into the water and we watched the rings grow silently and we stood watching without a single word. Water blended into time, dusk into dark, motion into calmness and silence into night.
Months later, high in the Wasatch, I stopped to watch the water in an alpine lake. The mountains slipped behind it and the trees turned to water, the sky turned to ground and stillness came into me.