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The Joy of Stillness

05.07.2016

It's when you've paddled far enough into the lake that you can no longer hear the shore.

 

It's when a wave pulls you under or a striking sunset causes your rambunctious crew to grow silent.

 

It's that moment when you first reach the mountain peak. But it's also the whole reason you climb the mountain in the first place. It's that moment when everything stops moving.

 

We live in a world that is rushing past at hyper-speed. Politically, socially, economically... the world is changing faster than any of us can keep track of.

 

Of course, we travelers are no stranger to motion. Trains, planes, buses, taxis, and tuk-tuks are par for the course. We travelers left our hearts on the road and when you've chosen a life of travel you've also chosen a life of perpetual motion, whether you realized it or not.

 

My one true love is motion. I love to travel. I change career paths with the same enthusiasm as a dog chasing down whatever smell catches her nose. Most of my relationships, romantic and otherwise, burn bright and fast. I do everything at a run and I never stop running.

 

But while I love motion and will never leave it behind (or rather, I will never let it rush past me), I lust after stillness. I desire it with the fervor Paris felt for Helen, but unlike Paris, I do not wish to own it. I do not wish to live in it.

 

While I treasure those magical moments of stillness, they must necessarily be fleeting. Perpetual stillness is nothing short of stagnation. Stuckness. Even, dare I say it, death.

 

But momentary stillness in a world of motion, why that is pure heaven. But we cannot live in paradise or it ceases to be paradise.

 

I paddled into the middle of the lake today and was struck by the beauty of it. The sapphire water stretched out in all directions and I could hear nothing save for the gentle hum of a world I no longer felt a part of. My mind grew quiet, my heart grew quieter, and for the next few breaths I said nothing. I thought nothing. I felt nothing. I was nothing, but stillness and peace and a tranquility our modern obsession with progress seems intent on destroying.

 

And then it was gone. As quickly as it came, it passed, and I was ready to paddle again. I had seen into a window of heaven, but I would not spend my life staring through it. Instead I would keep moving in search of another window... maybe even a door.

 

Because the world never stops moving, so why should I?

 

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