Usually when I am talking about stillness I’m thinking of it as a moment in which my brain and soul have peace and quiet. There’s not outside stimuli causing me to lose focus. Stillness, in that meaning, is when I am able to pause and think, learn, and relax.
The stillness that created an awesome experience today was quite a bit different.
When Gavin and I would post while hunting we usually did so in a spot with only one small tree stand. This meant that he’d go up to the top and I’d figure out a way to get comfortable next to him. Sometimes that would involve sitting at the base of a tree, standing on the ladder, or standing right next to the tree.
On one of the drives today I stood by the tree and kept my hands on the ladder – largely to keep myself anchored and still. I was doing my best to not move at all and that’s crazy difficult for me to do! Gavin also struggles with sitting still so we were both totally out of our element. That said, we were obviously doing a pretty solid job of sitting still.
From behind me I hear a couple of birds start flitting about around us. Suddenly, one of them landed on the tree not two inches from my hand! I watched it and did my best not to too smile to big and scare it away. A few seconds later and it flew up… and landed on the barrel of Gavin’s gun! I almost laughed out loud when I saw that! If Gavin needed proof that he was capable of sitting still he certainly got it.
Several minutes after the birds had flown off I heard them start making their rounds back in our direction. I could hear the beating of the wings getting closer… and closer… and closer… and suddenly I could feel the wind from the bird’s wings on the back of my neck! He landed right on my shoulder! Again it took all the self control I had to not laugh out loud at the sight of me standing there with a bird on my shoulder. When it flew off it must’ve decided it wasn’t through with me. He flew from my shoulder to a branch and then right onto my hand. Sitting atop my glove he looked right at me and just sat there for a bit. Once he’d thoroughly checked me out he took flight again and went back to the branches.
What an incredible experience!!! I remembered Dad telling me stories like that back in the day but I didn’t quite believe him. After today I think he may have been telling the truth.
Stillness, both literal and metaphorical, has led to some profound experiences in my life and I’m very grateful for it.