When I worked at Silent Forest – one week per year at the end of October in the rural town of Creedmoor – one of the things I appreciated about the region was its lack of bright lights. City life may have its thrills, but in the less crowded areas, where it is not as loud, not as populated, things seem a lot simpler and life itself becomes more beautiful. My residence is in a suburban area, but tonight not many neighbors had left on their home lights and so I turned off ours and walked cautiously onto the raised back deck and descended its steps into the grass of our yard. Within moments my eyes had adjusted and I needed not carry the flashlight I had brought. The stars provided sufficient light for me to maneuver safely – I could not see every detail on each blade of grass, but I knew where I was stepping. Even our young and hyperactive dog, Launa, was subdued, although that may have been something to do with her running about and barking all day long.
For a long time now I have had an aversion to doing nothing. “Boredom” is the wrong word; I tend not to grow bored in the traditional sense, but rather I get a feeling of time-wasting, that I could be doing something in those empty seconds. It’s a very self-conscious sort of feeling. Recently, however, I discovered that doing nothing can be good for the soul. Even though I was already thinking of considering that ideal, it really struck me tonight as I lay on my back and stared at the heavens. At one point I believe I saw a shooting star, though it could easily have been a comet or some other sort of astronomical phenomenon. As I recently wrote in the first draft of a short story, history on Earth spans what seems like sheer oceans of time, but in all those centuries and millennia, the cosmos have barely changed at all.