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Two Silences

For the better part of the last two weeks, my vacation morning routine has looked roughly the same. Wake up (usually at least two hours before the rest of my family), make a pot of coffee, proceed to the patio overlooking the ocean at our friends’ place in North Vancouver, and begin to leisurely sift through the newspaper or a novel while basking in the sun-drenched early morning silence. It’s been delightful. The patio, the sun, the coffee (mmm… Kicking Horse), the gorgeous ocean view…. But especially the silence.

The early morning silence has been magnificent. Nothing pinging, vibrating, or beeping. Nothing demanding my attention. Nowhere to be in a hurry. Just marvelous, restorative, silence. Space for thinking, praying, snoozing… The kind of silence that initially disorients but can be wonderfully liberating. If I allow it, that is. If guilt and old habits don’t reflexively scramble to clutter it up. If I can just be patient with all this unfamiliar silence.

This afternoon I will hop on my motorcycle and begin the long trek home, over and through the spectacular Rocky Mountains. This, too, affords a kind of silence. Not the tranquil, early morning patio kind of silence, mind you. Certainly not that, with the engine screaming, the sights, sounds, and smells of the road whizzing by. But locked inside a helmet for hours on end is a kind of forced solitude. No music, no movies blaring from the back of the van, no conversation, no texts or calls. A very different kind of space for thinking, praying, enjoying the wonders of creation (and vigilantly paying attention to the road, of course!). A louder silence, but delightful in its own way.

 In an increasingly cluttered, noisy, impatient, and distracted world, we are in desperate need of silence. At least I am. Whatever it looks like, whenever it presents itself, however quickly it is moving. I need this.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. mike #

    “The kind of silence that initially disorients……. If guilt and old habits don’t reflexively scramble to clutter it up. If I can just be patient with all this unfamiliar silence.”

    Love it.

    August 4, 2013
  2. This is something I’m terrible at. I’m someone who realllly enjoys his music (like most people my age), and I tend to resort to listening to my iPod when there’s nothing in particular that I need to listen to. But in the past year and a half or so, I’ve started to realize the importance of silence and how beautiful it is when you can actually find those moments of quiet serenity. Now I’m on my way to finding a healthy balance of silence and music.
    Thanks for sharing. You speak much truth.

    August 4, 2013
    • I’ve started deliberately leaving the iPod at home when I go for walks, too. Well, sometimes. I’m still not very good at this either :).


      August 5, 2013

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