Recently my iPod died a peaceful death. One minute it was channeling in NPR news and then there was deathly silence. RIP iPod: You have given me many hours of enjoyment.
Since I stopped teaching dance fitness classes, I use the iPod only during dog walks. Our intelligent (isn’t every dog in Davis super smart?) hound dog Duke knows the moment I pick up the iPod, it is time for his walk.
But when the iPod gasped out its last breaking news item, a funny thing happened: I discovered the power of silence. Well, there wasn’t too much silence during our recent early morning walk in the research fields near our house. All of a sudden I was aware of the birds singing, the buzz of an early morning mosquito and Duke’s nails beating a staccato rhythm on the dusty ground.
With my ears open, all my senses seemed to be on high alert! I was aware of the refreshing dawn breeze, heralding another scorching hot day. The amber eastern sky was lighting up with the rising sun and the black flocks of crows made interesting silhouettes against the pale blue sky. Off to the west, a sliver of a moon was on its way home, a little behind schedule and trying to beat the rising sun.
Dusty summer scents of drying grass and hay filled my nose. My feet found a rhythm and my heart and lungs all seemed to be working in unison. I have friends who go on such walks along the beach or a steep hillside, repeating words from their favorite spiritual passages. And that moment I could see what they found so soothing and peaceful about walking in silence, communing with nature and spiritual words. The world at that time of the morning was conducive to contemplation and walking meditation.
I felt an indescribable emotion rising within me along with the summer sun. It took me a while to figure out what this emotion was and then I got it. It was pure happiness.
I hope all my readers will unplug and enjoy a minute or more of spiritual happiness either at dawn or dusk, with or without a four-footed friend. Happy walking, my friends!