I just got back from 5 days of camping. It was a great time with old friends and the beautiful outdoors. While camping with kids isn't exactly relaxing, I did have some quiet moments here and there. Amazingly, I hardly thought about AS. Maybe it's because I felt pretty good, just achy all over, but that might be the new normal.
I was looking forward to getting away from our regular routine and excited to be surrounded be nature.
One afternoon I took a short walk along the lake. I thought that it would be a good time to think about the next steps. I sat on a bench and looked out at the water, the trees, the clouds. I sat and I waited. Waited for a revelation, an answer, clarity, inspiration. I waited, but nothing happened. I must have looked so silly, staring up at the sky in anticipation. It's like I was expecting God to throw me a line with a message attached. A message that would outline the answers to all my questions:
What am I supposed to do with my life?
How should I proceed from here?
What kind of work should I be doing?
Where am I going?
You know, little questions like that. Yes, I sat there expecting an answer (or at least a hint). I got nothing. I started to walk back to the campsite, disappointed. As I walked I began to feel pretty ridiculous. I just missed out on 20 quiet, peaceful minutes. Did I even see the beauty that was around me? Did I breathe the fresh air? Hear the birds sing? Feel the wet sandy gravel beneath my toes? Was I present for any of it? Was I looking at life or just looking for answers?
And then it hit me.
Maybe all the answers are staring me right in the face. Maybe they look different, sound different, are packaged different from what I'm expecting. If I could be still long enough, maybe I would recognize them. Therein lies the challenge: To be still.
At a time when I feel a sense of urgency, a need for action, it seems counterintuitive to be still. And yet, I'm realizing that clarity, wisdom and purpose is refined in that stillness. So here I am, learning once again to quiet myself, believing that in this moment, it is the most productive thing to do.
Sitting in Silence,