Friday, January 1, 2010

Blessings of Silence

Tonight on our walk there was a moment after the sun had slipped behind the mountains and the light slowly extinguished from the sky like a candle flame swallowed by rising wax, when the world held its breath and we stopped moving down the path. Strangely the geese on the fields were quiet and even the light traffic on Bowles seemed to come to a standstill. Duncan stopped and looked at me as his leash fell slack on the icy sidewalk and I thought of those last few minutes in Pocatello, just before we left town.

I'd pulled off Philbin Road and up the lane toward Ruth's parent's house and the giant green barn I've wanted to explore for the past twenty one years but have somehow managed to never set foot in. It was a cold morning. I could see the frost building up on the fence posts. Even the gravel beneath us was crystalizing. Pocatello was at the base of the mountains in the distance, the morning just bright enough that not even her street lights could be seen. I stopped the car and rolled down the window and breathed in that sweet Idaho air once more, relishing the silence out on the potato fields a quarter mile from the reservation. I climbed out and looked south toward the orange line in the sky. Duncan turned in the backseat and leaned out the window to follow my gaze. An entire day's adventure loomed ahead of us, six hundred forty miles, most of it yellow and windy Wyoming. My body was already beginning to vibrate as though the road had begun to pass beneath us at seventy, eighty, and sometimes ninety miles an hour. But at that moment, with the day still only a vague notion, only the silence mattered, the silence and the journeys we'd made together.

Tonight, on this the first night of the new year, with Pocatello and my family so far away, with another Christmas only a memory, the silence and the oranging light above the mountains was like a wish for peace and health and love, for kindness and pleasant dreams of flying, all the good things one could hope for as the calendar turns over once again. It was a wish for the future and a prayer that the past is able to find its place and be content there.

And as the moment of silence ended––for it was only a moment, lasting only as long as it takes two hummingbirds to kiss––as the world swallowed and its ears popped, as the traffic noise returned and the geese took flight and the ice on the lake shifted and moaned softly, Duncan and I stepped together into the new year. We have shared many steps, weathered many storms, but also many idyllic days and nights. Here's to hoping the blessing of the new year join us in our journey.


Greg said...

Hummingbird kisses. Love that.

May you find hundreds of unexpected possibilities in the year ahead, my friend...and enjoy many such delightful moments of easy contemplation at the side of your best pal, Duncan.

Scout and Freyja said...

We'll be traveling the same road right along with you and your good friend. After all, what is life without a dog, or two, to explore a New Year?

Olive said...

Beautiful.... We all need that kind of contentment and peace in our lives.

Licks to you...

Olive :)

Sam said...

We wish you a wonderful New Year and many more walks with Duncan!

Sam and Cisco

ruth said...

If you'd like a tour of the barn, I'd be happy to give you one!