Searching for Service…ah, no, not really…

“Searching for Service”… that’s what my cell phone display said yesterday after I lost reception while driving down Cooper lake Road.

As a dog trainer, I often get calls from people “searching for service” in the sense of needing dog training help. Of course I’m delighted to receive such calls– that’s why I am a dog trainer. I also make calls searching for service, when I need car repair or a doctor’s appointment, or anything else that requires someone else’s skills. I’m glad to be of service and I’m thankful to be able to call for service when I need to.

However, driving down Cooper Lake Road, I felt no need to “search for service,” despite the words on my cell phone. It gave me a delightfully free feeling to know no one could call me and I could call no one. I anticipated an hour or so of uninterrupted solitude– a precious gift of time for myself.

The funny thing is, I am often the one who interrupts times when I could be alone and quiet, filling it with unnecessary calls or web browsing. I don’t quite understand why I turn on my phone and make calls or click through web sites when I really could benefit from silence and stillness, but I do, then sometimes regret the lost opportunity for solitude.

That’s why I was so pleased to have driven out of range of cell phone reception yesterday. No one, not even I, would interrupt my quiet time at Cooper Lake.

I hiked a short distance through a pine forest, until I found an opening by the shore. Sitting on pine needles with low-bush blueberries and huckleberries within arm’s length, I let my mind wander at will as I painted the landscape and sampled fresh berries. The sun shining on the pine needles filled the air with a satisfying fragrance, and the clear air gave a perfect view of the distant mountains.

Rowan sat with rapt attention, watching a huge flock of geese floating nearby, quietly honking their contentment. Every now and then he got up to pick and eat a few berries, then he’d sit back down and focus on the geese.

A delightful afternoon painting and pondering in peace.