Until this night, I never noticed the beauty there is in nothing. I look into the empty plains of varied grasses and once-vibrant wildflowers, now dried and shriveled from the surrounding winter storms. As I gaze upon nothing, I want to run from my car and sit beneath the wildflowers and the wild grasses and scream until my voice is gone.
I want to say out loud everything I’ve held back and written into code deep inside my mind, spilling thousands of secrets from my mouth until my throat is raw.
“I just wish time would stop, even for just a moment or two. I just need a second to think, but I am always without even a single spare moment. I don’t know what to do. And even when I do, I always make the wrong decision.
“It’s like I’m trapped in this sort-of limbo. I have to act; I can’t stay here at my laptop, ignoring my problems forever. But if you think about it, you could be making a life-changing decision at any point in your day, even if it’s something completely abysmal like what you pack for lunch or whether or not you staple your homework or if you put B or C on question 42 of the math test. There are so many different paths, and each path is constantly birthing new paths. You could make a life-ruining decision at any point without even realizing.”
I want to run into the abysmal field and scream.
“Think about how easy it would be to make one wrong turn and end up on a path you were never supposed to even find. And I could talk about ‘supposed to’ for hours. Is fate, or God, or some higher power with some grand plan for you even there, pulling the strings and leading you somewhere? Or are we just tiny specks of people, alive for a single blip in the universe’s history, frantically trying to find some way to distinguish ourselves, desperately trying to succeed at futile events that will never truly matter?”
I can say all of this, and the field will hear me. That’s the beauty of nothing – it will listen to you in a way no one else could.
Bordering the white-lined highway, the field sits, a pillar of strength amongst so much chaos, amongst so much change. The summer meadow slowly morphs into a shell of its old self, and yet I know it will come again next spring, stronger than ever, proof that paths sometimes repeat, that we can always come back to the right decision.
And even the migrating birds know to rely on the plains for knowledge, for something amongst the nothing. They drift in bands over the eight-laned highway to sit with the wilting flowers. Like me, the birds wish to rest for a moment before they continue the journey they must complete. The birds fly south; eventually, I will find my way home, too.
When my voice is gone, my mind splayed out on the dirt beside the dying wildflowers and the yellowing grasses, I want to lie atop the contents of the field, conversing with the withering flowers and the traveling birds. I want to revel in the wonder that is nothing.
But, all too soon, the moment has passed, my opportunity gone, and I must continue without knowing the comfort that emptiness could have brought.