|Posted by Nancy Elliott on April 23, 2020 at 10:35 AM|
"What Are You Thinking?" he asked.
Angles of light, color, hue an depth. A shadow, thin as spider’s silk, hangs over the orange of mallow petal, barely seen, maybe only percieved, but part of the texture and tapestry before me. Entrancing to distraction.
While on a second date, desert picnic during a long, languishing Sonoran Spring, my companion, now my sweetheart, asked me, “What are you thinking?”
I was not thinking, not at all. My eyes were slowly moving over the desert floor, seeking every shadow, curve, stick, flower, leaf and movement. The “Hot Shots” were packing up after extinguishing a wildland blaze, thankfully less than a few acres. This added even more interesting and arresting shades and smells. And feeling. All of those colors, light, shadow and smells effect my feelings, stopping the usual thinking process and I go to a sensory place I have no name for. Explain all that on a second date. “I am just taking it all in,” was my response. An understatmement of huge porportion. I cannot explain this to my self, how would I explain it to someone else? Bob still asks me, “What are you thinking?” Sometimes, I can answer fully because of the trust we have established. But, sometimes, I am caught without words. Like, one evening when we were dancing to a band playing outdoors. The establishment was in a rustic setting, dance floor was behind the band and away from people and tables, and over Bob’s shoulder and through the trees I could see the night sky, the pond and the stars. I could hear the night birds and crickets and my eyes started to seach the details of the shadows and light. All of that, along with dancing in Bob’s embrace, left me without an answer.
And then, there is silence.
The songs of silence are welcome to my ears, to my soul. One can’t hear the songs for all the noise of the world. But, the songs are all around and tell me the world is Okay. From the porch I hear the groan and squeek of the soup pot on the stove. The tin roof pops as the sun heats it, and then rattles a shiver as a stray cloud cools it. The breeze drifts orange and purple blooms and makes mallow and lupine nod gracefully to the rhythm of pop, rattle, shiver and squeak. Cassia floats sweet perfume on the wind while butterflies work diligently.
There is birdsong, too. Laughing, whistling, cat calling, cheering, playful and alive. The local Harris Hawk family is hunting. Today there are five of them and their conversation is like encrypted surround sound.
I know places where the quiet is so thick, the footfalls of ants seem an intrusion. Not here, not today. There is silence enough for today. A restful, not alone silence. A peaceful, beauty filled silence after months of busy and hurry.
I am ever thankful to live in this place. From my back porch I can see Pima Butte, The Sierra Estrella Wilderness, South Mountain, Four Peaks, The Superstitions and McDowells. I can see Signal Peak and the Sawtooths, Newman, Picacho, The Catalinas and Lemmon.
The wind speaks to me when the world is quiet. Or, rather, when I am quiet I hear the wind speaking.
I recall the wind in the treehouse in Arkansas. I would climb out and up onto the tin roof to hear the wind in the forest that covered the surrounding hills. I remember the screaming wind of a California grass fire as I worked my way to safety with a bladder pack and shovel. The peaceful hush of the wind as I repaired targets on the archery range. The roar of the set-your-watch-by-it 3pm dust devil on the gun range.
And now, I’ve had to fetch a coffee and a blanket, in spite of my fleece pants, thermal shirt and sweater, because I don’t want to go inside and miss any little thing out here on the porch, in the silence and the wind.