The Still

It’s a bit after 8 a.m. and there’s a crow cawing in my backyard. It’s sunny and already in the mid-50s, promising to hit around 70 today. It’s a nice, mild day. Some May days have that feeling of pleasant-ness, when the temperature and humidity collude to bring a day when both are easily ignored. Today is one such day.

There’s not a stir anywhere. I can hear a whir of minimal traffic on the Parkway nearby and the metronomic ticking of my living room clock, some random tweeting here and there, both fore and aft of my house.

I’ve grown to like the mornings, when things are still and the world is waking up. There’s hope in the morning. I think that’s what pulls up the sun. And somehow everyone gets that message: “C’mon, let’s try it again. You can do it.” And the day starts anew. 

It used to be the middle of the night that I liked, when things were still because everyone was unconscious. It’s a function of age, I guess. I was young then. I generated my own hope through my own inflated belief in myself, as the young are wont. Now, I’m old. I need some external reason to believe that there is still hope and I find it in the mornings, as the old do.   

But it’s the same solace I find in the stillness. When I was young, it brought out my ambition and my need to define myself through whatever creative endeavor I had chosen that moment. Now, I just want to capture it, hold it and be in it. It’s the still that lets you be who you are, which is of course a malleable and fleeting quality that morphs with time. But where would any of us be without it?

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