Unexpected Stillness

Early Morning

I greeted the day at 5:00 AM, on the westcoast. Not a sound. I check my phone and notice it’s no longer charging. Across the room I see no light in the bathroom. Was it on an automatic timer? I am confused. As I stumble across the room for a light switch, I realize nothing is working. There is no power. How could this possibly be since there is no wind or storm? Nothing even brewing.

How can I now do the work I had planned to do? Thoughts race around.

In the meantime my feet wander towards the door and I step out onto the deck, to be greeted by the exquisite beauty of pre-dawn light, across Georgia strait. If that weren’t enough I have the coastal mountains for a backdrop. What could I do now except sit down and bask in the emerging show from Nature’s theatre.

For two hours and a bit I watched, with the stillness broken only by the unique cry of the eagles and the flutter of hummingbird wings. No hum from the fridge through the screen door. No ding on my phone. All was still.

The Light Changes

As the light changed I noticed the glow on the trees and even caught a glimpse of the parade of raccoons coming up from the beach. As I strolled around the property I was greeted with golden glows falling on a pot of hydrangeas, or a barely noticed corner of the garden. I nodded at the stone Buddhas and waved at the prayer flags waving at me, up beside the Labyrinth.

Back to the front deck to watch the sun come up and paint a path of golden sunlight across the water.

Nothing got done that I had planned. Yet the unplanned stillness and beauty of this morning enfolded me like a cape of the smoothest silk. An unexpected gift of the most priceless kind. Time. Beauty. Nature.

Why does it require a power outage for me to enjoy this gift? Must every hour be filled with what needs doing? Or can I/we simply take the time to bask in the summer’s morning light and be still for awhile.


How It Might Continue by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Wherever we go, the chance for joy,
whole orchards of amazement—

one more reason to always travel
with our pockets full of exclamation marks,

so we might scatter them for others
like apple seeds.

Some will dry out, some will blow away,
but some will take root

and grow exuberant groves
filled with long thin fruits

that resemble one hand clapping—
so much enthusiasm as they flutter back and forth

that although nothing’s heard
and though nothing’s really changed,

people everywhere for years to come
will swear that the world

is ripe with applause, will fill
their own pockets with new seeds to scatter.

From Naked for Tea (Able Muse Press, 2018) as read on Gratefulness.org

As we come closer and closer to the end of August I hope you too have a few mornings of stillness and beauty. Consider making time for timelessness. See what happens. I will purposefully try it again tomorrow.


Note 1:) I hope you revel in these last days of August and get to be outdoors with nature’s healer. This afternoon I carried on and went for a forest walk through a trail of 150 year old cedars.

Note 2:) You may be interested in a first or second listen to Pico Iyer’s Ted Talk, on The Art of Stillness.

Note 3:) The photos are from beautiful Gabriola Island, BC.

Note 4:) Thank you for showing up once again to read my blog post. It is always an honour and a joy for me. Warmest wishes and see you next week, Trudy


12 replies
  1. Mary
    Mary says:

    Your words, the poetry and beautiful pictures created my exclamation marks this morning! Thank you!! Enjoy beautiful Gabriola … Mary

  2. Terri Thomas
    Terri Thomas says:

    I can picture where you were when you wrote this blog, Trudie. ( S & J’s place) We haven’t been up for a long time but your description brought back happy memories. I continue to enjoy your weekly shots of thoughtful meditations. Thank you for all your efforts. Most appreciated. Terri

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thank you Terri. And you are right. A special spot on the Island. Today rain and wind. Also has its own beauty as I listen to the waves and the swaying trees.

  3. Lindi
    Lindi says:

    Thank you Trudy for this gentle reminder. When I occasionally start my day with meditation the remainder of my day is always one feeling more relaxed and peaceful. And thanks for bringing the rain with you. 🙏

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thanks for your reflection dear Lindi. And I hope the island gets much more rain while I am here. If only I could turn the sky tap on and off. Haha

  4. jean
    jean says:

    how fitting for me,as usual,hard time stopping the wheels. i watched a silly movie last night. 27 hrs. how to get more done…….felt fingers pointing at me big time. thanks for the timely reminder to enjoy.beautiful dahlias opening their beautiful faces every morning now. Enjoy your gift.

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Some words from an ancient and favourite poet, the Zen monk Ryokan who was known for doing nothing that was considered productive by the rest of the world. He wrote poetry, played with the village children and did zazen in his little cottage. He was also considered to be fairly “enlightened”.

      “Too lazy to be ambitious,
      I let the world take care of itself.
      Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag;
      A bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
      Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
      Listening to the night rain on my roof,
      I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.”

      Sometimes dear Jean, that is what needs doing. Once in awhile. Take care.

  5. Karen Cain
    Karen Cain says:

    I enjoyed listening to Pico Iyer’s Ted Talk. When my daughter died I experienced the most profound stillness. Life simply stopped, I was outside the whirl of everyday life. I had responsibilities, duties to perform and I did so, but the core of stillness has not left me and I am not the same person.

  6. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    Trudy I so enjoyed this message – I felt like I was there with you enjoying the peacefulness and stillness. I also so enjoyed reading the comments. Thank you Trudy and everyone for sharing such beautiful messages.

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thank you so much Teresa, for your kind comment. And as you say, I so appreciate what everyone else had to say too. I am lucky to have such wonderful readers. Enjoy your weekend.


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