While I am recovering from a surgery by recuperating at my brother and sister-in-law’s house in North Carolina, I have spent a good deal of time sitting on their house deck. There is much to see looking at lush vegetation, the trees, the pictured mountain lake and a distant tree-covered peak. There is often stillness sitting here as I write but in the stillness there isn’t silence.
As I sit and contemplate my recovery and the road ahead, Otis Redding’s hit song “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” is going over and over in my head. He sings about his observations from a dock perch and mine are from an elevated, tree level deck.
I think Redding would like sittin’ on the deck here in the western North Carolina mountains even though in his song he left his home in nearby Georgia in exchange for sittin’ on a dock in San Francisco Bay. Instead of watching the tide roll away I watch the clouds roll in and listen to the stillness even when it rains.
The stillness on this deck is very special as one realizes that in this natural surrounding there are several species of birds that make their own melodies… crows are cawing, Canada Geese squawk on the mountain lake, a distant woodpecker chisels into a tree for a meal… and numerous bugs provide a humming backdrop for the assorted sounds in the stillness.
Now and again the wind and rain break the stillness by making the leaves on the trees rustle and splatter sounds break the silence.
The sounds made by humans interrupt the silence too. But fortunately their sounds are few and those of the vole scratching in the downspout or dogs barking brings one’s sense back to listening in the stillness as a humming bird darts to some flowers.
Sittin’ on the deck brings an appreciation for the orchestra and the visual painting that nature provides.
Although I am more used to writing in my blog about natural and manmade beauty that I have witnessed throughout the world, I am calmed by the stillness and the natural sounds I have found in the Carolina mountain stillness. Otis would enjoy sittin’ on the deck with me.