I drove out to a job today — a house I clean in a nearby town. Traffic was terrible, and I had just been caught in an unpleasant conversation. I was half an hour later than I had planned and feeling frazzled. (This job is for a woman whose family asked me to clean for her, only she wants to do the cleaning herself.) I popped out of the car cheerfully and said “I’m here to clean” and was met with a chuckle and “oh no, there’s no need.” After some further discussion, I could see I was not going to get cleaning done. She said to me, “well, you may as well have a glass of cold water while you’re here.” I sat with her on the back deck of her home, overlooking the water, chatting about everything from birds to the Korean War. The water was perfectly calm and sparkling, amazingly there were no bugs. We sat for an hour. What a fascinating life she’d had. In the midst of the discussion she said, “you know, people just don’t know how to be still today.” About five minutes later, across the inlet, a deer came bounding out of the trees down a path to the water. She stood for a minute, then turned and leaped through the beach grass and out of sight. We both watched it go — the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a while — and I thought about her words. How much we must miss as we tear around with lists to cross off and agendas to stick to. And there, on the back deck with a near stranger telling me her life story and nature itself saying “look at me,” I found a bit of stillness in my day.