TROUBLE IN CEDAR KEY
- Details: Written by Gene Benedict,
- Originally Published 22 December 1999
Whatever happened to the lost art of being still? For some time now, the weather has been cooler and clear with sunny days and starry nights. We have opened the house, the windows, the doors. The air conditioner is off. No fans are running. And the only appliance still on is the refrigerator.
Maybe it’s the Native American, the Blackfoot, in me that makes me wonder what happened to just being still. We do that a lot, Anne and I, just being still. Year around we sleep with the bedroom windows open to hear the natural sounds of the night or the lack there of. The dim light at night in the bathroom burns only to prevent accidents. It is dark, it is quiet, it is wonderful.
How much of the wonder most of us miss by surrounding ourselves with man made creature comforts and concocted activities that after a while, we accept as matters of life and as necessities. Man made creature comforts make noise and many are just plain ugly.
Try walking outdoors sometime with blackened glasses, with eyes barely open so that the major stimuli to the body are the footfalls and the other physical sensations of walking, the sounds and how they change in type and intensity in just a few yards, the odors, the scents that many people miss altogether except at mealtime which is the only time many people taste anything.
Remember rowing that boat that had no motor and sculling with a short paddle in one hand and a cane pole in the other, slow rhythmic movements that were natural, that were calming to the body and quieting to the soul? Remember the sights you saw after a few minutes. And when you got to the hole, and were still, the sounds that seemed to return as if they were gone somewhere else while you were busy getting there.
And the excitement, the feel of that tug on the pole as the perch, or the bream, or the trout, or whatever, hooked himself and pretty much had his way until he tired and was yours for the creel. Remember after the fish was in the box and you baited up and the pole was back in the water, the sounds again came back as if they were patiently awaiting your return.
Sit alone someday on the rocks at Sanspit or on a bench at Shell Mound or just in the car with no radio, no tape, and the windows down. And after twenty or so minutes, notice how things have changed, not just what you see, not just what you hear, not only what you may smell, but perhaps messages you are getting yourself, coming from somewhere inside. Stay in touch with that for a little while. Do it again. And then again. Notice how it affects you.
Learn again, if only for a little while, the lost art of being still. My guess is that it will leave an impression on you and perhaps make a major difference in how you view things day to day.
So until next time, the Blackfoot in me may be looking for a different kind of Trouble in Cedar Key.