Many years ago my step-dad built a cabin in the woods on a cliff overlooking the water. Driving down the dirt road you could only hear the tires on the gravel and the wind rustling through the trees. Anyone who slept there would claim it as the best night of sleep and would sleep in later than normal. The silence of the woods had the most amazing calming effect, boosting everyone’s spirit.
When I lived in Tokyo, I would take a train to the country on my days off, escaping the noise, pollution and people. Seeing the green trees would transport me to a place of calm, an awareness of how stressed I was living in a crowded city miles and miles away from my native Pacific Northwest.
This morning a mom offered to take my son, and the two boys I watch every Thursday for a couple of hours. She drove off with a car full of five boys, leaving me with a new plan. I would absorb the silence, fill my cup with self-care, instead of emptying my cup with housework. The house is unusually quiet and I feel myself settling into this gift, aware of how much I need silence.
Sometimes all we need to re-charge is a cup of silence. We may not be able to drive to the woods, hop on a train to the country or send our children away, but we may get five minutes to sit in silence. Let me re-phrase, we may get the opportunity to create five minutes of silence. I could have ignored the gift and filled this time with stuff that doesn’t replenish my soul.
What would happen if you turned off the radio, I-pod, television, telephone ringer and just sat in the silence?
Would you feel guilty? Want to quickly fill that void with noise?
You may very well have difficulty embracing the silence at first. You may feel completely weird and uncomfortable. On the flip side you may eat it up and be transformed to a state of calm.
You won’t know until you try now will you?
by J.G. McGlothern