A memory from last week, when I was home in California:
Eucalyptus trees, tall golden grass; a blue sky, a deluge of sunshine pouring through broken clouds. I am walking in the lap of the earth, among small hills. The hills close the horizon. They keep out the sounds of the rushing world, and the sight of its straining. Here, in this quiet park, peace descends upon me. The quiet creeps into my soul. For the first time in--how long? is it days, weeks? months?--my mind is blessedly empty. I look up, and the lingering clouds are radiant, splendid with diffuse light.
Across a field of dry grass, the geese are grazing. They are placid as cows this morning. They have all the time in the turning of the world. They have chosen what is best--tranquility--and no one shall take it from them.
Of course, the geese are not thinking such thoughts. But then, neither am I, really. I am not thinking, my mind is not spinning out ideas. The images and words grow of themselves. I merely gaze upon them, and see: this is home, this is peace.
I climb a hill, and the world unrolls before me. I see: marshlands, pickleweed, Pacific shovelers, sandpipers; cell phone towers sprouting from the marsh, boardwalks I wish I could explore; beyond these, the bay like a distant mirror, and the sky open above it, and the buildings of all the teeming humanity that lives here, toils here, runs and laughs and worries here, breathes here, under the vast sky, and the wheeling white gulls, and the eternal possibility of peace.