Be stillness, says the little tile on my wall. In retirement, I am remembering how stillness is made.

After so many years sealed inside the apartment, the office, the subway, the restaurant, I discover again the ancient familiarity of the soft, green morning. The breath of warm air on skin. The scents of this place, unlike other scents, other places. The smallness of we, the infinite connectedness.

These are the joys of looking at the same location for 30-plus years, and now, at last, for all the minutes in a day. There is an infinite changeability here. When new leaves fall before their time, when the sky goes milky or the river richens to emerald green. To that before-dawn moment when the night creatures all fall silent at once. Or when eagles call from beyond the road or a screech owl speaks in the late hour. To the stars that tell us how our small planet moves. To the fox or possum or armadillo that shows itself rarely, but beautifully. To unfamiliar butterflies that seem as large as pterodactyls. To the mystery sundown that dyes everything pink.

My days are mine. My schedule is mine. Nature and I sit and smile at one another. Just sensing, seeing, is wonderfully enough, and nothing is everything. I drift. I float. Occasionally, I act. The silence is not bigger than I am. In the privilege that is the house that belonged to my parents, stillness takes me to the ancient skin touched by breezes past, the eyes given the same greens, for the nose the delights of the same smells…the things we remember that are built into us. The something we remember before we were us.