Still. It's a rich word, full of potentially contradictory meaning. An adjective - motionless, noiseless, calm, hushed, inert; peaceful, placid, serene, silent, stationary, tranquil; verb - quiet, calm, hush, pacify, quieten, silence, soothe, subdue; adverb - to this time, yet; even; but, nevertheless, notwithstanding; noun - photograph.
Take the hare. We saw him/her sitting low, very quietly nibbling away at the grass. We were driving along very slowly at Elmley RSPB reserve on Sheppey, and there he was. None of the birds that we normally see were around, just a marsh harrier away in the distance and a heron nearby. All was still. At one point s/he sat up high to check around. Still but definitely not inert, taking it all in.
And so it has been very still here too. Far from the expected frenzy associated with the Games just along the way, the roads have been much quieter than usual. Families disappeared for the month and those that stayed laid low. We spent a few days at the seaside, then came back to calm, hushed days, drier, warmer, more tranquil than normal. Some harvesting, weeding, general maintenance, gentle activity. Some outings to the seaside, a bit of communal sewing, making more rhubarb and fig jam and courgette chocolate cake, picking blackberries for vinegar.
But. Yet. Neverthless. I could not understand why I had such low energy levels until reaching down to the books at the side of the bed one day, unable even to think about reading anything new, I opened Sara Maitland's Book of Silence at random and chanced upon page 198 where she describes her visit to the Sinai desert in search of a deeper silence where she might hear the spinning of the universe. "Up in my desert eyrie I had another potentially more dangerous experience. As the day wore on just as silently and even hotter, I would find myself slipping into a kind of lassitude that made the effort to do very simple things, like drinking, feel immense." Desert lassitude apparently.
So I find myself relishing the slow drying of the leaves, the gentle rustling of wind in the trees that signals the end of summer, the cooling of the air in the morning when I manage to stir myself early enough, a definite restlessness, the itching of a new season, a realisation that to shrug off my listlessness I need to take some action.
Maybe make a list as a first step.