Anchors

The still, blue air holds a slight haze to it, testament to the dry, windy days. It isn’t enough to hide anything, much less Cooke’s Peak, to my southeast, standing still and strong against the day. Almost in line with the peak, a clump of bear-grass is putting up its feathery fronts in hopes of seeds for next year. A Mexican Jay sails effortlessly into an oak scrub, looking for all the world alike a piece of sky. But my mind drifts quickly to the rest of the day: What needs to be done today in the office so that tomorrow isn’t impossible, and so that when we go on vacation next week I don’t leave chaos behind me or before me. And there she stands against the day. I’m more like the bear grass and the jay than the peak today, planning furiously for tomorrow.

For Cooke’s Peak, a day is like a thousand years. Volcanic extrusions live slowly, so slowly that we don’t even notice the passage of time on their faces. Though she is not, compared to my hectic life she seems eternal. She anchors me before the day, reminding me that sitting here and emptying my thoughts of anything but the NOW is all that really matters in the end. The rest of the day will come, and without that anchor tomorrow WILL be chaos.

Quiet, quiet, breathe in and out, count your breaths, let that thought go—you’ll get to it in good time. Quiet, quiet, breathe in and out, count your breaths, not your thoughts. Quiet, quiet, like a ship tethered to the unmoving floor beneath the ever-changing seas.

Cooke’s Peak is an anchor.

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