“One need not always be saying something in this noisy world.”
-- Sarah Orne Jewett, “A Dunnet Shepherdess”
This world is such a noisy place, what with the whirring of countless kinds of machines and mechanisms and the everlasting chatter of most of us, myself included, that it seems, this morning, that Sarah Orne Jewett was right: a reasonable increase of silence in my life could carry me along in a more tranquil and enlightening way. There’s something soothing about silence, especially when I work hard to hear the silence, so to speak -- to see and appreciate stillness and listen to what truths it can acquaint me with. All too often I’m fearful of silence, of the feeling of isolation and uncertainty it sometimes seems to create, but when I turn toward silence with acceptance and inquisitiveness, it consistently causes a breeze of reassurance to pass through me, as though I’ve found, finally, a place of peace. Sitting by myself in the early morning in a room where only the sound of the furnace and the restful clicking of a pendulum clock can be heard, and doing nothing but simply appreciating the surrounding silence, can cause the new day to seem like it’s doing a slow and soothing dance. Or standing in silence outside under the peacefulness of winter trees and just listening to the mild, light-hearted sounds a breeze is making among the branches can make a whole day be a helpful gift. It’s good for me to sometimes turn away from the turmoil of this rowdy and rackety world and simply be with silence for a time -- simply trust the truths that can be found when the only sounds are my breath coming and going and the good noise of nature doing its unruffled work.