This post is the result of the writing prompt I found at Today’s Author. All below is fictional.
Daniel’s life didn’t include expanding the mind or the spirit. Days consisted of cleaning the barn, milking the three cows, attending to the corn and alfalfa fields and doing the regular repairs that came with having a farm. The town’s preacher kept bugging him to go to church. In Daniel’s mind, the preacher’s only goal in this endeavor involved adding Daniel’s money in the plate as it went from one parishioner to the next.
He had grown up in a setting of restrictions and rules. Father had always said that a farm couldn’t be run or maintained without these two things. To this day, he still believed that was true. How else would he be able to make a living as a farmer, especially when the odds of success were dwindling so?
Still, he knew he disappointed Father when he decided that attending church services didn’t jive with what he believed. Father said he was on the road to hell. That might have been true if only he believed in the place — but he didn’t.
Then last week, on Thursday, an older man came to the farm. Daniel had just finished lunch and headed over to the barn to check on the calves. It’s good to get a little exercise after a meal as long as one doesn’t overdo it.
The short little man wanted to buy half a dozen eggs and a quart of milk if Daniel could spare the items. For reasons unknown to Daniel, he warmed up to the guy and ended up asking him to stay for supper and keep him company as he finished his work beforehand.
During the course of the evening, the subject of beliefs came up. To be sure, Daniel wasn’t the first to talk about it. In fact, he cringed a little, remembering the loud discussions he had with Father.
However, the man didn’t talk about religion. He talked about being comfortable with oneself both inside and out. He talked about the different ways this peace could be achieved. And he talked about meditation and all the qualities it had to offer anyone who used it. Daniel was intrigued with what the man told him. He listened with intensity as the older gentleman explained.
The short little man left after the brandy Daniel shared with him. He strolled up the gravel road that led into town, carrying his eggs and milk in a knapsack he held close to his body. Daniel kept on thinking about the evening’s discussion while he cleaned up the kitchen and the dining area in the living room.
Watching TV that night wasn’t an option. Daniel was way too antsy and filled with energy from the older man’s visit. He finally decided to try what the guy had talked about.
Candles flickered in the silent room as he sat down to try to meditate for the first time. He sat in Father’s bucket chair, laying his hands loosely in his lap. To get to a tight-knit focus, he closed his eyes and started visualizing the details of the room. He moved his attention from along the walls to closer in, always being aware of what he saw in his mind.
Soon it was just Daniel in the bucket chair. He began to notice the rhythm of his heartbeat. He knew he was floating somewhere but it didn’t last long. Quickly he began to be aware of the details of the room again.
He opened his eyes, letting them adjust to the candle light. His skin felt slightly tingly. Yes, he noticed the calmness, something he didn’t remember ever feeling before.
Was it the first time he had ever felt at peace? Could be.