I am way out in the wilderness. Windswept. Desolate. A vast horizon. There is snow and mud on the ground. It is cold.
I am sitting here in the mud and snow. Alone in this vast swath of Nature. I am very still.
A lone gray wolf walks up to me and checks me out. We stare at each other. Peacefully.
I marvel at the peace and slow motion of Nature in winter. Death and a frozen stillness are everywhere. I revel in the stillness. The timeless peace.
On the horizon, I see that night is coming.
I leave this vast swath of spacious wilderness and walk towards the streets of a quiet suburban neighborhood far off in the distance.
I walk and walk and walk. All night long.
I enter suburbia – hundreds of nice homes with perfect yards.
It is early morning now yet still pitch dark save for the occasional porch light and streetlights.
The lights suddenly come on in one house and a teenage girl in black tights runs out into the driveway and is loading stuff into the trunk of a car. Under a streetlight in the dark I see her moving swiftly.
Two other homes suddenly light up and I see two more girls in black tights rushing out the front doors and frantically loading gear into their cars with parents close behind.
All three girls are on a gymnastics team, and they all have a 6 am practice before school starts.
More neighborhood lights come on – boys are also rushing out their front doors and jumping into their cars rushing to basketball practice before school.
Boys and girls and parents all rushing out front doors and then racing off in cars and disappearing in the distance.
I’m off in the shadows in the dark, all bundled up in a heavy jacket and stocking hat and just taking it all in.
I watch the girls and boys and parents, so busy trying to beat the clock and manage their time. Rushing, rushing, rushing. Trying to squeeze more time out of each day.
Yet I feel happy for them. I used to love trying to manage the clock and trying to squeeze every precious minute out of every single day.
But today, I am enjoying being ensconced in what feels like my own inner stillness and in a wintry death that feels natural and very warm indeed.
© JOHN DAVID LATTA