Silence has always been, for me, an essential ingredient for balance. I am happy when there is a lack of auditory distraction; I hear myself think better in silence. For me, sitting by the window on a sunny day and hearing absolutely nothing is paradise! No dryer spinning, no furnace kicking on, no refrigerator hum, no cell-phone beeping, and especially no television blaring.
Silence helps me focus.
But as is always the case with life, my family’s life patterns have been altered and silence is not readily available. So the drive home was a chance to turn off the radio, concentrate on traffic and just take in the beauty of the countryside. The New York turnpike is one long winding road, with mountains in the eastern part, farmland in the western end, and the beauty of the Lake to the north. I have traveled this road often these past four years and am always excited when I discover something new. When you take time to see beyond mile markers and rest area signs you see horses covered in wool blankets, the lonely loon sitting on top of a boulder in the nature preserve, and the small homes nestled in the crevices of distant valleys.
I need a dose of silence every day.
It affords me the opportunity to truly hear and see what God has planned for me. His plan may include, as it did today, the cheerful greeting of a Macy’s clerk who I seem to see every time I shop…which is not often…but who always greets me like a long-lost friend. It may include the sound of the first bird of spring chirping on the deck, reminding me to fill the feeder. Or, the silence can allow me to have quiet conversations with Our Lord while doing the dishes, the laundry, or changing the beds. As I go about my day I need quiet to hear God’s answer when I ask Him “What is next Lord”?, or “What do you want me to do about this Lord?” or even a simple “Thanks Lord”.
Silence helps to keep me peaceful and grounded. And in the world we live in today – taking the time to enjoy silence should not be considered a luxury, but a necessity.