One dark morning early in December, I crept out of bed and slipped into a warm shower. Not yet very awake, I effortlessly slipped into an altered state and found myself still and impossibly silent. Not empty, I noticed, just incredibly silent.
All day, I considered that silence. Though I felt connected to and a part of the ‘dead of winter' outside my house, I did not feel separate, alone, lonely, or in any way disconnected from my life, my work, my friends, or my family. Still, silent, yet full. I was in total awe.
Then as if on ‘repeat’, I awoke on another morning to a very unexpected blanket of snow outside! More snow than I’ve seen in my seven years in the Tri-Cities. I ran out to my front porch and just gazed in amazement while at the same time I ‘felt’ the silence of it. It was deep, and it was restful. Although I had just awakened and crawled out of bed, I embraced the additional rest because it transcended my physical body.
I could feel it in my soul; like old man winter was pulling me in to a secret and forgotten place. The coolness. The calm. The gentleness. The quiet. The hush. The tranquility. The soothing quality of the stillness around me. As you read these words, is it sinking into you like I experienced it on that morning? How odd the word ‘silence’ evokes yet reveals nothing of this magical and mystical domain.
I’d never given silence much thought though I have embraced it, craved it, and welcomed it at times in my life. The dictionary defines silence as “complete absence” of sound. I read that and my gut said “nope”! And it dawned on me, silence is not an absence of anything. We all just need different “ears” to “hear” what is waiting in the silence to be discovered. Maybe it’s not a word or a concept but a feeling that needs to be assimilated, experienced, and embraced to fully recognize the hidden magic and power of it.
Meditators speak of the calm and balance they find in the silence of their meditations. Step outside at 3 a.m. and experience the dark as it settles on your senses. And think of all the ‘other worlds’ we at the Divine Fellowship visit every Sunday during the guided meditations. We close our eyes, shut out the ‘real’ world, and are led to babbling brooks, vast meadows, lush forests, and majestic mountains.
Psalms 46:10 beseeches us to “Be still, and know that I am God…” We can find God in the silence. What greater reason to seek out silence?
The winter months can be cold, messy, and inconvenient but they also offer us a respite and a recess from the activities and busyness that often consume our lives. This activity can be disruptive to our well-being if we are so busy that we don’t take time to rest. As trees, flowers, and shrubs wait patiently in the silence below the frozen ground to work their way up and out to bloom, renewed in the spring, our own winter respite offers the same promise of personal renewal.
Consider making that journey within to experience the recharging and regeneration that an interlude with the silence promises.
Marvel at the magic contained within it.
Soak your soul in the stillness.
Have a cup of tea with the tranquility.
House the hush for an hour here or there.
Wonder at the wonder.
BE the silence.
Resist the temptation to wax unhappy about the cold weather, the snow, and bad drivers, and consider instead the gifts waiting in the silence to be discerned and explored. Feel the complete fullness of the silence.
Visit the other worlds concealed there, and be in awe.
by Ginny Jenkins