Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Kevin Ruano shares a poem inspired by reflective moments spent in nature and the struggle to stay present.

I sit straight up and rest my head against the tree.

I put on an alarm on my phone, close my eyes, open my hands, and face the sun.

The fallen leaves flutter around me. I do not know whether I will be able to make out the curious squirrel or snake that would reach my side to rush away with my method for or plain time and communication.

You step too close and unannounced. The shuffling noise of the wind keeps startling me. I think too much about what I will do after returning from this session of shared stillness. I foolishly think there is a way to leave silence to get back to what I must do or say for purpose.   

I cannot imagine how I would let everything pass through me; how to trust the change beholding me; how to be no one but everywhere with You.

How will I let go?

No thought or word. No timer cuts eternity or identity apart for me. We are all in this moment together alone, forever.

View of the sunset from the backyard of the Casa San Salvador.

Reflection Question: How can you incorporate moments of solitude into your daily life?