The Quietude of Nature

noun: quietude
  1. a state of stillness, calmness, and quiet in a person or place.

It had been another busy Saturday in the parking lot. Not only had there been many people parking their cars with us, half of the people were cranky, and it seemed like the rest were needy. Either someone was trying to pick a fight or s/he had a million questions and practically wanted us to hold his/her hand through the entire parking process. It was exhausting. The weather wasn’t helping either. The sky was overcast, and we could feel the expectation of rain in the air, as if nature were holding her breath, letting the tension mount before releasing the wet. Maybe it was barometric pressure or negative ions, but the tourists had been acting weird (and annoying!) all afternoon.

My workday was drawing to a close, and I was seeing the light (in the form of dinner and peace) at the end of the tunnel, when I heard the constant mechanical buzz of a small engine coming from the road behind me and to my left. I turned around and saw a grown man and two teenage boys with a remote-controlled toy vehicle rolling at their feet. I didn’t notice which one of them had the controller and was “driving” the thing, but I noticed it was pretty big for a toy and had fat wheels.

I looked at the adult and said incredulously Are you bringing that on the trail?

He answered in a voice I’d expect to hear from a cartoon buffoon: not very bright. Uhhhhh, yeah.

Isn’t that kind of obnoxious? I asked.

He looked at me blankly. He had no idea why people walking in nature and looking at trees might find his noisy toy  obnoxious.

What about the quietude of nature? I pleaded.

The blank look never left his face. It’s battery powered, he said. There’s no gas.

Apparently he thought “quietude” was somehow related to pollution. Apparently he’d never considered pollution of the noise variety.

I can’t stop you from bringing it on the trail, I told him, but I think it’s obnoxious.

Well I think it’s pretty cool, he said in the same tone as schoolchildren say I’m rubber and you’re glue…

As the toy vehicle rolled and hummed across the street to the trail, I imagined it bumping someone’s abuela (grandmother) in the ankle; scaring dogs and making them bark; getting tangled in a Boy Scout leader’s feet; and startling birds and squirrels and causing them to leave the area, all the while destroying the quietude of nature with its irritating buzzing noise.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

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