Natures Silent Music

Some things in life just can’t be explained. Why do very simple events in our life, that usually occur during childhood, print an indelible mark in our memory cells and register with us so completely that, even as older adults, we remember the finite details as if they happened moments ago. I have theories about this but for the moment I want to relay the details of an event that happened to me during my teenage years. For many people, the early teen years were a time of awkwardness and difficulty but, for me, they were absolutely the happiest years of my life. Many stories could be told but I picked this one because it is particularly memorable for me. Hopefully, for the reader, this will be a catalyst to remind you of pleasant times in your youth.

Every year during the summer, my father packed up the family car and drove my mother, sisters and I to his favourite fishing lake. The lake was stunning. Nestled in a mountain valley a five hour drive from our home, the hot dry air would often reach temperatures in the mid 90sF. I was 14 on this particular trip and I always looked forward to these 2 week holidays because it seemed there were no rules for us kids. My memories were of total freedom to do as I pleased – and I did.

One particular afternoon, I was feeling quite bored and decided to go hiking in the woods surrounding the lake. The woods were on the side of the mountains and in places were quite steep with trails winding up and around the tall pine trees. This was hot country, almost desert. During the summer, as you take each step, the dry tinder grass crunches from the weight of your shoes as you walk. This particular day, the scorching sun was high overhead, the sky was a deep azure blue and the air was still, silent, hot and dry. It was as if I was in heaven.

I’ve always liked the desert country. As I wound through the sparsly spaced pine trees climbing higher and higher above the lake on the narrow twisty pathway, I could feel the energy of my breath coursing through my nostrils and lungs. The air felt so healing within my body. Higher and higher I climbed. Just up ahead was a small clearing in the trees and I decided to take a rest from my weary climb. There was a huge outcropped rock in the middle of the clearing – an excellent place to rest.

The granite rock was very comfortable. I could see much of the glistening lake through the trees. The contrast between the blazing sun, the sky and the lake was quite evident. The lake was very still and dark, dark blue, almost black. The heavily treed mountains above the lake were reflected as a mirror image below. In the extreme distance, far away on the opposite side of the lake,  I could see someone rowing a red boat with a fishing line erected on the side. I always remember the pine trees – the mottled tan and brown bark – the spiky cones. I saw a purple coated garter snake slither through the wheat colored tinderbox grass.

At that moment – utter silence. My awareness began to quicken and I was struck by the majesty of the place I was resting. It was totally silent. Absolutely no noise could be heard and it seemed for a moment that the whole world had been encircled by a new peaceful energy. I closed my eyes, became focused on the light of the sun dancing through my eyelids and within the silence of the moment a realization came over me that it, in fact, was not silent. The energy of the natural scene that enveloped me became very powerful. I could hear the sounds of nature within myself, I think. I didn’t know if it was within or without. Then I realized it was both – it was everywhere. I didn’t want this moment to stop, but it was stopped for me. As I sat within this meditative state I heard  a rustling in the grass. I opened my eyes and there about 10 feet from my rock was the most incredible animal. I had never seen one, but I knew from those huge long legs and elongated ears that, yes, that was him, a Jack Rabbit coming to visit me. He hopped eagerly towards me, sat in front of me – looked staringly into my eyes – turned his head to the left and was gone in a flash.

As I began the long trek down the mountain, back to our mountain cabin in the valley, I realized something very important had just happened. That day created feelings within me that would be recognized time and time again and created a benchmark to help me distinguish between what was important and what was not important in my life.

For those of you who kept reading to this point, this event probably requires no further explanation and I will provide none. Explanations of feelings are futile. How do you describe love. How do you describe compassion. How do you describe inner peace. You can’t. They can only be experienced.

May you live your life in the conscious knowledge that you have been given the greatest gift in the universe – the gift of human life. Appreciation is the second greatest gift. The ability to truly appreciate what has been given.

. . ./John

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18 comments on “Natures Silent Music

    • Thanks Pat. Now, how to get people to read it. People don’t want to read anymore. They want instant gratification. It’s easier to sit back and watch a video. Hmmm. . . Maybe I could . . . it all takes time.

  1. John, WP has some good articles on how to get more traffic to your blog. For instance, you can set up links to FaceBook and Twitter so that each time you post on WP, it is also posted on FB and Twitter. Use the search at the top of the page to find the help articles. Read the ones about tags and search engines as well. I started getting so much more traffic once I set those up. Don’t get discourage. People are definitely seeking and you definitely have important insights to share. Hugs, pat

    • Thanks Pat. I do post my stuff on facebook. I don’t put everything on facebook – only some of them. Actually, I’m not discouraged at all – I know it takes time and, of course, once something is written and posted, it’s out their forever. My writing is very enjoyable for me. It’s almost as if I’m writing for myself and, in a way, it really doesn’t matter if people don’t read.

      Thanks for the support though.

      . . ./John

  2. Thanks for sharing this beautiful history, and your reflections,in today’s busy life, we (I)forgot sometimes (allways) to Stop and think what are the important things in our (my) liv(f)es.Things with no words.
    You enlightened my day. Congrats from Spain. Paco

  3. a lovely account. i couldn’t resist looking up the symbolism of the jackrabbit: “If jackrabbit is your power animal you are alert and you never box yourself into a corner. You always plan for an escape exit, should the need arise. You are quick-witted, peaceful, talented and a survivor. The role of the victim is not appropriate in your business or personal relationships. Jackrabbit’s message is, always be alert. When walking in a strange neighborhood pay attention to your surroundings”.

  4. This was a fantastic piece!! So wonderfully written, it just scooped me up and whisked me away to the fabulous place you were writing about! Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

  5. Many important things, can’t be said in few words. This was important, as much to me as thee it seems, for it moved me greatly. Thank you my friend, for taking the time to write what needed to be said, and not crop it it into soundbites or lessor pieces. There is treasure there for those who seek, and it is a treasure, because most do not have the stamina or courage to seek it out.
    Thank you!

  6. There is a treasure. A lost treasure that, when found, can bring all the richness, in life, one could possibly desire. The lost chord, the fountain of youth, the proverbial Shangri-La. This treasure has the power to fulfill all dreams and wishes – in deed, to bring total fulfillment. You are right, Captain, it is only for those who truly seek it.

    Thank you for your comments. From You, they are treasured much.

    . . ./J

  7. The best part is – we ( I and you and everyone) are part of nature; though we are only a miniscule part of the whole. So, you experienced yourself when you reached a place that had no distractions to your thought process…so that you could find yourself…highlighted by jack rabbit’s presence! In India, the place of origin of human life on earth planet ( nearly 4000 years ago), Rishis ( spiritual seekers) spent their life time in seclusion in high mountains meditating to know more about human existence and nature. To know that…. we are the observer as well as the observed. All these does not make sense to common man buried in material comfort and they do not read blogs like these – to enlighten themselves, to experience nature directly. Writing itself is emotionally satisfying, a creative outlet, a means to know more!

  8. Wow…I’m so glad you found my blog so I could in turn find yours. This is WONDERFUL! I hope you don’t mind, but I want to share this to my FB page to gear some traffic toward you. Brilliant!

  9. what a wonderful read this morning…
    I was trying to catch up on my blog and your blog came into view from somewhere…
    a moment to hear the breathing of silence comes to mind as I took in your words
    Thank you for sharing….
    Take Care…

  10. John, loved this. Thanks for sharing!
    I took particular note of:
    The energy of the natural scene that enveloped me became very powerful –
    for this has happened to in the majestic mountainscape of Teton Valley. A silent magnetic power.

    • It’s one of those things that if you haven’t experienced it, you wouldn’t really relate to it. It’s kind of like falling in love and trying to tell someone what it’s like when it has never happened to them. . ./J

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