I walk out of the noise of my life and I walk slowly into the mystery of quiet…
This is the first day after a rain and I am walking along the Russian River.
I am surrounded by a silence, a quietude of muffled sound…
It is like descending into some deep mystery–into a working spell wrought by an unknown force.
I have come here to check on the river’s level, and I have entered a magnificent solitude. I can feel the quiet. I can taste the aloneness. This sense of stillness is accentuated by the soft sound of the river and the rushing sound of the wings of flying birds. I am once again stunned by the magnitude of the world that surrounds me. I can hear the nothing between the lapping of the water.
Leaves suspended in grasses that sparkle with water droplets that catch the diffuse light like jewels. Trails painted with the muted colors of late Fall–I walk six days from Winter Solstice and the longest night of the year. Trees stand naked, bared to the heavy and sacred light that holds sound in a swaddling of fog.
Long ago, it seems, I had ears that heard every sound as noise. Today I only hear the sweet melodies of wings, the call of Canada geese southward bound, and the river flowing to the sea. I stand at its edge and my feet are a prayer to the gravel, my breath is a prayer to the heavy air, my skin is a prayer to the chill, and I know there is a spirit in this air and this earth and this river–and that spirit has blessed me, and on this path, put upon my shoulders a mantle of silence and peace to bless the noise of life that fills the rest of my world.