Some of my favorite moments in my life are when I discover things about myself through passive pondering. For example, I discovered one night that I like watching "feel good" movies late at night - because when I do, usually I'm the only roommate who lasts through them. So when they're done, I can ponder the message of the movie without being disrupted.
Through reflection, I've identified another thing I like to do: work at night.
There's something about a quiet lab that suits me. Take right now, for instance. It's nearly 8pm. Everyone is gone except James Dayie - my Ghanaian coworker who is quietly typing. There's some sort of mutual agreement this late that goes without being said. Something to this affect, "I won't say anything unless I need your help. Expect keystrokes and the noise of a chair shifting until I'm ready to clock out, then I'll give the conventional 'See you tomorrow. Have a nice night.' bidding."
It's calming to have that understanding late at night. And it's refreshing to leave the lab after accomplishing a solid amount of work, especially when I notice that my car is the last in the parking lot. Nobody is on campus when I leave, so I can hear my own footsteps echo through the dugway as I walk out to my car. The nights in Logan tend to be clear at this time of year, and once I'm far enough away from campus, the stars seem to pop just right. It's as though the heavens smile upon a good day's work run long.
It might just be that I enjoy the quiet moments of productivity. If I ever wake long before I need to be up, and spend my morning reading scriptures or just quietly sitting after I eat breakfast, I get the same feeling.
There exists a peace about moments like these. A peace that soaks up the mind with correct perspective. It's as though the world is zoomed out to the size of a tiny speck, and my life is drawn up against the cosmos to discover that "yes, I am on course". And then everything zooms back into me walking out of the dugway, leaving the empty parking lot and getting home - just to start it all over again tomorrow.
At times I've wondered if I've been in school too long, if I'm turning into one of those people who never really helps the economy - someone who never really faces life. But when I have moments like these, I figure: I'm doing just fine.