I pause under that summer tree, the one that feels like a friend, as my dog wonders why we’ve stopped. She was trotting in such rhythm. But when this still, I wonder what part of me, way down, remains untouched by dream or memory? What drop of being remains out of reach of the opinions of others? When up close, each thing reveals its shimmer. And it’s the unexpected closeness that holds everything together. The light spreads across my dog’s face, her eyes so devoted to wherever I want to go. Can I be this devoted to the pull of life? Last month, I saw a dolphin and her calf slip back into the surf, and the pucker of the sea where they went under said, This is what it feels like to shimmer and go speechless. There’s a closeness we recognize in everything simple, as if we knew everything at the moment of our birth, and living is how we remember it all, piece by broken piece. It can happen when I stop to pick up what you drop in the supermarket. As your eyes shimmer, I realize we’ve known each other forever, though we just met.
A Question to Walk With: Ask a friend about a moment when they went speechless and what the silence opened them to.
This excerpt is from my book, Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living.
*Photo credit: Felix Mittermeier