Its silence silences us

On this bright still silent November day, we walk through bare thickets toward the lake like a silver mirror; so calm, so glassy, it holds on its wide surface all the patterns of light and air above. Its silence silences us. Its stillness stops us in our tracks. As I bend to touch a stone, I hear a voice say, "Love the earth". I cock my ear and hear the echo, faint yet unmistakable as ocean sounding in a shell. When I try to summon it once more, only my words come. A great and terrible tenderness breaks over me. Each pebble, each shell, is filled with beauty; each, in this moment, articulate, a word spoken, and I imagine beyond the grasp of hearing the great murmuring of creation beneath my feet. I feel these patient stones lie like an eternal sacrifice, offering me the ground of their existence on which to grind and crunch the pathways of my life ... I haven't begun to love the earth. Does it take the awareness of our death to wake us up to life?

~ from A SLICE OF LIFE by Lee Sturgeon-Day