A Journey to Stillness
“Integrity is the ability to listen to a place inside oneself that doesn’t change, even though the life that carries it may change.”
~ Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man
A Journey to Stillness
I am sitting here in the early morning watching the sun stretch across the red rock cliffs outside my windows. The only sound I hear is the birds singing the day awake. The sense of isolation here is comforting.
My journey to stillness began so differently than I could have imagined. Coming across the Nevada desert, near the Arizona, Utah border, I began to realize that there was something very wrong with the clutch in my car. My car, a 2000 Subaru Outback, has been a trusted friend for 12 years. It has been the best car I have ever owned. And rarely has it given me trouble. So, here I am, after driving the better part of 9 hours, and realize that I can only hope I make it to St. George, Utah. So, I begin to ask my intuition to help me know where to get off the freeway in a town I don’t know at all.
I am guided to get off the freeway where I see a Buick dealership. I pull in and ask the nice men if they have any idea where one might find a trusted mechanic. They say to me, “Well, the Subaru dealership is a block down this street. They likely can help you”. It is now 6 pm on a Friday evening. I arrive at Subaru where another nice man says to come back in the morning and see what the Service department has to say. They also show me where there is a motel two blocks away where I could stay and hopefully get back to Subaru in the morning.
Anyway, to make a long story much shorter, the next morning I was given a rental car, free, and told they would call Monday to let me know what my car would need… and how much it would cost.
So, deciding there was nothing more I could do there for the time being, I traveled on toward my destination. I was headed to Southern Utah, Arizona border area where I had rented a house for the month. I decided to go through Zion National Park on my way there.
Such a good choice. It was beautiful, calming and gave me a chance to settle myself down, sit on red rock and listen. I wanted to listen to my body. I was aware of the anxiety I was feeling. I was aware of my exhaustion. Both from the long drive the day before and the exhaustion I began the trip with. I stayed there most of the day, just enjoying the beauty, filling myself up and grounding myself with the red rock that has always nurtured me.
I got to the house I am renting for the month late afternoon. And what a joyful surprise awaited me! The house is small, adobe, and sits beneath red rock cliffs, surrounded by juniper trees, sage and that beautiful red dirt that distinguishes so much of the Southwest. It is set off by itself and is situated so that the houses around are not visible. What a joy to come into this warm,welcoming space. I had seen pictures on the Internet, but they don’t do justice to the peace, the sense of being all alone that the house itself provides. I discovered that my cell phone does not have service here, nor is there Internet connection. I am about 6 miles from the nearest town and connection to the outside world. I had asked for quiet, isolation, a chance to go into the stillness… and I certainly got it!