Walden Once More: Week 6, Day 1


My great, great granduncle asked, “Are our serene moments mere foretastes of heaven, — joys gratuitouslyor simply a transient realization of what might be the whole tenor of our lives?”

I am endeavoring to discover my own answer to this question.

Beneath the ruffled waters, the lake is always calm.


When my great, great granduncle received visitors, it would sometimes take him two weeks of solitude before he fell back into himself.

I have seen no one in six weeks and one day. I talk only with the plants in my garden. The stillness spreads beyond the fabric of connection between those who purchase and read my books.


Though I write in words, they come not from the mind, but from this deep still spot where I gaze until I see past the ruffled surface and down directly through and into that emptiness which connects with the emptiness on the other side of silence.


Here, alone, able to attend to every need, to answer most whims, I have no cause to disturb this calm.

Serenity becomes the beat of my pulse.

While I have the luxury of this life–which few choose, and which few are able to choose–I can settle myself within that deep and lasting serenity, so that later, when the pulses of my life lead me into the greater world, this deep sense of the serene is so firmly in me that I remember it, even in times when my queue fills and demands–both internal and external–threaten the surface calm.


Life is simple when I allow it to be.

What is there outside of me that is more important than this serenity?

The only thing outside that is as important as this tenor of my life is the serenity within the rhythms of nature, the shifting light and shadow, the slow pulse of the growing shoot, the unfolding of mystery within the structure of a rock.

Even in the midst of the most extreme chaos, serenity can be found, lying deep within the silent still center of conscious awareness.


As I taste deeply the gifts of silence and stillness, as I notice the movement of thought and emotion within this still space, I find my lasting balance, where nothing–not the transient ripples brushing the surface, nor the deeper waves preceding storm–can topple this deep-keeled boat.

What is transient is not the serene moment–for that is what is present always. What is transient is the moment of disruption, unrest.

Even in the most disturbed of moments, we can find calm within the quiet spaces.


The leaves blow in the wind. Yet within the cell, the movement remains unruffled, following its own steady beat. I am listening to the steady beat within myself.