Thursday, March 8, 2012

P52 Photo Challenge - Be Still - Week 10

For the tenth week of the P52 photography challenge, the theme is "Be Still." Honestly, I wasn't quite sure what to do for the image. Nothing was coming to mind.

Then I spent the afternoon on March 8th going through files from my Dad's office. I've taken on this task since he died on January 5th because I've found it to be quite healing and helpful as I go through the grieving process.

So, each time I go over to my Mom's home, I go through more files and different parts of his office as a way to slowly go through what he kept throughout his life and determine if it's something that should be kept, recycled, or sent to someone who may enjoy and/or appreciate it.

The last time I went there, I brought home several bags filled with files, pictures, and other items from his office. These were aspects of his life and what he valued; so I wanted to spend a more time looking at and reading what he kept. I didn't want to rush through this process since it is only going to be done one time.

Essentially, I have been gaining deeper insight into my Dad's life, his spiritual beliefs, and his work as a Deacon since his death. This afternoon was time well spent in reflection. In quietness. In stillness.

It was a time to appreciate the many gifts my Dad had, the impact he made on literally thousands of lives throughout his lifetime, and deepen my respect for someone who truly lived what he believed.

Around 5:00 p.m., I took a break from going through the files, and walked down the road with Sophia and Olivia. There was a bitterly-cold wind that seemed to be coming from all directions. It was far from a still afternoon.

As I waited while the girls let out a neighbor's dog, I looked out their patio door towards the west (the back part of the nature trail and wildlife area at Harvest Moon). The sky was open in one area; and the sun's rays were radiating down and outward. It was, to me, an image of stillness. Peacefulness. Quiet.

In an article titled "Quietude" the author said, "In the presence of ex­quisite art, the stillness of a forest, the quietude of the vast desert, the solemnity of the mountains, the tranquility of gently falling snow, the ocean when waves are resting, composure in the face of unspeakable tragedy, or the ineffable wonder of human love; in the presence of all these and more, silence resounds.

"As the psalmist declares about the heavens, 'There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world.' (Psalms 19:3-4 NRSV)."

So, in an absence of speech there is silence. Stillness. Yet, this same silence is quite powerful and affects a multitude of people in ways that cannot be comprehended.

As I looked at the landscape from the patio door, I noticed that many of the trees are bare at this time of the year. In an article titled "Earth and Ourselves: The Stillness of the Winter Tree," the author said, "The tree without leaves is not a creature lacking fulfillment, rather it has a revealing quality like that of  silence after the spoken word or a stillness that precedes the dawn.

"The tree in summer can never be still. Even on a windless day there is innumerable life that rustles and chirps and creeps and clings among its leaves and branches, up its trunk, and beneath its bark."

There seemed not to be another living thing in all the world.
There was something of bliss in this stillness, and something ominous too.
It was the kind of stillness that beckons us to turn inward,
toward the beginnings of our existence.
~~Paul Gruchow~~

In Essence of Recovery, it is said that "...We cannot create profound stillness. We can allow it. We can move into it. We can receive it. Many of us have been frightened by such a stillness .... Some [people] are endlessly busy just keeping the stillness at a comfortable distance. Many [people] have unwittingly thrown themselves into a workaholic life because they were frightened by their emerging spirits.

"We can change this pattern by allowing ourselves a little quiet at a time. At first, it may be just a few minutes alone. We may be more able to meet the stillness outdoors, or we can learn to be still in the presence of someone else. The stillness is a moment of meditation."

I'm happy to have taken the time to day to not only be still...but to find an image that captures how I was feeling today.
project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge


Rita said...

That is a beautiful image. There's something about rays of sunlight streaming down from between the clouds that always makes me think heavenly thoughts. I'm glad you're taking your time going through your dad's things. :)
Have a great weekend.

Sarah Huizenga said...

Looking at your shot, I think of God looking down on us and always watching over us. There is such a peace and comfort that comes with that thought.

arianne said...

I love this post. The quest for stillness is a passion of mine--my whole blog is dedicated to it. Thanks for sharing this.

kelly said...

love your peaceful photo. that gorgeous sky is such a grand reminder to be still and have peace.

Susan said...

I love those rays of light coming through the clouds!

Donna said...

Beautiful light rays. Beautiful post.

Light Trigger said...

beautiful capture and your post is beautiful!