I remember standing on a trail in the White Mountains of Ruidoso, New Mexico. I noted to myself, “I’m standing still, and the trees are standing with me.”
For a few seconds I just stood there, aware of the vast height of the trees and the blue sky enveloping them. I too, am a part of this panorama.
The stillness really struck me, perhaps because I live in Southwest Fort Worth where it seems the wind blows most of the time. Here I’m standing still with the trees, the trees standing with me.
Back at home while walking in my neighborhood, I knew I couldn’t replicate this experience, but I could stand still anytime I wanted to and feel the sensations of stopping and letting my mind shift to a lower gear. Standing still, I focused on the things nearby; browning late summer wildflowers, a piece of glass glimmering in the sun, mud daubers buzzing near the ground, the wind blowing my shirt — this frame of reality also stood still with me.
And so, we stood. And it was peaceful.
Even if we weren’t in the fifth month of the pandemic, the art of being on our feet would be a necessary practice for anyone wanting to embrace life. Walking for the heart and the head is a singular, simple gift.
Stopping and standing still during a walk — resisting (with whatever force of the will is required) the tug for more stimuli, more movement, the next thing — is a freeing containment of the mind and body.
Stop and stand.
Stop and stand and let the world be around you. Hear the sounds, feel the sensations. Be where you are. Know that you are not alone.
“ I will be with you wherever you go, even to the end of the world.”
— Matthew 28:20