HERON LAKE SP, NM—In the early morning, three fishermen arrived at my camp, their tires softly crunching on the gravel road. Down by the lake, they silently unloaded their equipment, set up their chairs, and cast their lines out into the waters. In stillness, they waited.
A chipmunk poked around at the base of a bush. An osprey soared overhead as I pushed away my thoughts, released my boundaries, and lost my Self in Her.
Last evening, Randy asked me to join him to meet a fellow camper. Randy, though he had met him himself, had heard mixed opinions about the man. Some said he was slow, some said he was odd. Others said he was some sort of prophet.
Randy wanted my opinion of him—wanted to know the truth of him.
We drove to his site, but he wasn’t there. His friend kind of smiled, pointed to his bike and said if his bike’s here, then he’s around here somewhere—wandering around as he was wont to do.
Sitting alone at a picnic table, overlooking the lake, we came across a lean, still, man gazing peacefully out over the water, silhouetted by the setting sun. I was immediately struck by his quietness, by his stillness, by his fittingness with the serene scene behind him.
Randy had met him a few times before, so the greeting was easy and unforced. We sat and chatted idly and the sky was lit with a brilliant orange as the sun slowly set behind the clouds and the mountains.
The man asked no questions, yet was open and responsive and friendly to all asked of him. From within his being radiated a profound stillness, a stillness seemingly reflected in the surrounding trees and lake and sky.
Gently I introduced some topics, relating them to my own experiences, yet to each—from the quiet mind, to synchronicity, to an Intelligence behind it all—he had no opinion nor profound words. He would just nod—not in agreement—just in showing he’d heard what I’d said, with no opinions on the subjects either way.
Whenever he would finish talking, he’d turn his head back to the lake and watch the setting sun and the conversation would die down into silence.
As I would watch new questions arise in my mind, as I’d push them away to enjoy the stillness, I realized this man had an utter lack of curiosity—a lack of inquisitiveness which gave him a naturally quiet mind and almost animal-like acceptance of the present moment.
It was later that I realized that it was this man’s lack of curiosity—his naturally still and accepting mind—which led others to believe him both a dullard and prophet… a sort of quiet Forrest Gump.
His still nature and accepting attitude is what practically every spiritual seeker seeks, yet it is their attachement to the noise and curiosities in their minds which prevent them from finding it. Noise and curiousities which this humble, still man seemed to naturally lack.
He was a simple, still and quiet man. I both admired and envied him.
And yet, in either his or my own ignorance, I felt a little melancholy for him.