There is nothing more peaceful than a basketball in the morning.
On most mornings, I make my way to my prayer spot in the park. It is in the center of a silent field. The only trees are surrounding the field. It is open and clear, and the grass is always finely cut.
The grass is never visible until the sun comes up. Usually, I arrive in the dark of the morning, maybe half an hour before the sky turns from deep, navy blue to gray.
It is always silent. Even the one runner who arrives around 6 is far enough away that his feet fall silently. The only sound is the occasional bird being spooked in the field.
Having pondered peace for some time, I was particularly focused on how peaceful this morning was. It was so quiet. The breeze was ever so slight, but it was humid enough to be totally comfortable.
It was as I approaching that I noted the round ball, resting motionless in the direct spot I normally pray. At first, it seemed quite alien and out of place.
But, as I watched for any signs of life, I realized that it would not be rising out of bed any time soon. This place was so peaceful that even the sports equipment reclined.
It seemed apparent that the ball had arrived at its location from the day before. Perhaps some child from the school nearby gave it one last kick before the bell rang.
None-the-less, I made my way over to the ball. Despite it being a peaceful morning and the ball still not stirring, I placed my foot on it to rouse any signs of life. To my surprise, it was deflated as well.
It seemed that this sanctuary of peacefulness had withdrawn even the bounce from this ball.
I noticed how sharp the contrast was between this deflated pouch of rubber the robust, springy ball it was just a day ago. The contrast was distinct because of the images that this basketball drew up in my mind; kids running recklessly and wildly mimicking their favorite players, background noise of girls skipping rope and the slap of the plastic rope of the pavement.
These ringing sounds faded into the darkness of the morning and mist as I looked around and took my attention from the lone, silent, restful ball.
I looked around to see the first grey stretching the horizon. The grass was just now visibly becoming green, and the basketball sharing its red, white, and blue stripes ever so slowly.
‘He is waking,’ I thought to myself.
I turned my attention to the horizon, to receive the rest of the motionless morning and let my snoozing sphere sleep in.