The surprising art of sitting still

Folks know me as a pretty laid back kinda dude but there’s side to me that’s always on the go, hardly staying in any one place for a long period of time. Maybe it’s the quest of adventure and new things but it’s been ingrained in me since I was a wee one (hence the nickname of “Scooter” because I was always zipping around as a kid).

Thanks to the vagrancies of Lyme disease, the past few months I’ve had to learn the art of sitting still all day during the times I was so weak and unstable I couldn’t do anything — not even read or watch movies because it would give me vertigo.

During those dark days it was a chance to meditate much more often (which also aided the healing process) and spend a whole lot of time contemplating things, watching thoughts roll around in my ole noggin’.

That was mostly a good thing (other than wrestling with moments of depression and the weighty thoughts & feelings that came with it — the healing process for Lyme is very slow so sometimes it seems the light would never come) because with those long moments of idleness came different perspectives and new insights on living a life worth living. I’ll reflect on those on another day.

Getting back to the art of sitting still, what I wanted to share was the moment I was at least strong enough to get outside for a bit, I would (slowly and laboriously) drag a lawn chair into a spot of nature nearby and plop into it, sitting there for at least an hour or two.

That was when an amazing and wondrous worlds opened up — one of my favorite spots was at the edge of a swamp. Initially sitting there you wouldn’t see much other than water and trees. As the minutes ticked by, new parts of nature would reveal itself. A baby alligator climbing onto a log, a water snake wandering by looking for lunch, birds of all kinds doing the same, dragonflies landing on me, butterflies whistling by, frogs hopping and swimming in the brackish water, turtles sunning nearby and on and on.

Because I sat quietly for so long, the wildlife slowly became used to my presence as if accepting me into their world. Some would wander close by, like the white egret pecking for food near my feet.

There were different variations of breezes whistling by, the way the rays of the sun kept changing and shafting through tall trees, ferns and plants below dancing in different ways when the breeze would shift and so on and on.

I was amazed to find in unsuspectingly quiet places of nature so many sensory delights revealed only by being still for an extended amount of time as if soaking in the environment.

I would go day after day after day and each time it was different, nature unveiling a new side of her, further delighting my senses.

This is how I realized there was an art in being still and the magic that springs from it. Wondrous magic that was there all along if I would stop long enough to step out of life and embrace the beloved all around, not just within.

Try it sometime. Prepare for unexpected delights!


PS. I (and my doctor) noticed a wonderful side effect: I started healing at a faster pace from those forays of stillness in the woods, swamps, and prairies. More magic abound!).

By Ray

writer / shutterbug / wanderer / lifelong entrepreneur / reiki master / oral deaf / zigs when others zag / nature lover who kayaks to work ; )
Currently wandering full time in a tiny camper around the continent and sharing the journey along the way.

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