As if the world takes for itself a moment to pause, autumn brings a lull and quiet that I crave in my bones. If you're not paying attention, you can miss it, swept into the holidays and the coming winter that brings with it a harsh busyness that crowds out the stillness.
To really take the deep breath of the season, one must work to provide space for it. You have to climb a mountain to find the rarefied quiet.
Lately, I've felt bogged down in the underbrush. I can hardly see a few feet in front of me, to say nothing of the forest and its trees. Put another way, caught in the trenches of the gruesome attention war, I've been hit. I need a medic.
I have to find a place to rest and repair. The autumn quiet feels right and restorative, but I have to climb a little to find it. Past the sirens of the information. Past the enticing yet noxious fumes of social media. Past the false advertisements of respite. Past the taskmasters of busyness.
What lies in the quiet at the top? It's been so long since I've truly sought its oasis that I'm not totally sure anymore. I know there's a curative boredom. I hope that the missing pieces of my shattered attention have sought refuge there, and I can coax them to come back to me. I dream that the view from the top offers some much-needed perspective -- that I can again see the forest. Perhaps a medic of my own making waits to treat the wounds of this attention war. I will only know once I summit.
I don't plan to stay there. What comes up must come down; for me, the quiet at the top has always been but a temporary asylum. If only what comes down from the mountain quiet arrives changed and recovered, ready again to head back into the fray. Any wise warrior needs a rhythm of repair and reengagement. If we are not to just survive but thrive, we all need to visit quiet's sanctuary.