by Randy Van Heusden
The late afternoon was turning into darkness, and I wanted to relax after work. I was staying in a home near where the contract was located outside of Chicago. The backyard had this large tree which looked perfect for me to sit under and meditate. I found a spot for me to sit and lean my back up against the tree for support. I crossed my legs in a yoga pose for my own comfort. I set my arms onto and over my legs with my palms up, and closed my eyes. My hands rested in an open position allowing the spirit of the darkness to be received. I felt a spiritual calmness as my hands received the air into my touch and settle my soul. I let my eyes rest while I listened to the sounds of nature and an occasional sound from the more distant city noises. I heard several birds as they sang to each other. There was a frog croaking occasionally as he moved from his position. I do not know where he was going, but I could tell that each croak came from a slightly different position. I sat idle and continued to listen to the sounds of the evening. I let my body relax as the stress settled into the ground below me. The only movements I made occurred with each breath as my belly moved ever so slowly in and out, in and out. I focused on my controlled breathing and let my mind relax. Every so often there was a movement of leaves as the winter season was blowing into a spring day as they approached. I sat wrapped up trying to stay warm as the air got colder and the breeze began to pick up and invade my private thoughts of peace. The darkness was cast with light from the stars and some street light in the distance, and a hint of light from the window. I was feeling the cold air breaching my jacket and work clothes as I continued to focus my mind on the sounds and the peace of the night as the time continued to pass beyond the 30 minute mark. I remained still as I opened my eyes to take in the lights around me and unfold my tightly positioned legs so that I can roll myself out of the sitting and into an upright position. I noted my surroundings once again, and looked down as I watched each step as I headed indoors.