Years ago when my son was a little boy, I came to appreciate the silence of the night. At that time I was working full time and also at school full time. I could only work on my assignments after Pat was in bed. This is when I began to appreciate the silence of the night… it seems the world is quieter, the energy flowing more freely and more directly where it's needed. I could concentrate on my work more easily in the quiet… the words flowed more easily, I could be more creative, more productive.
After I graduated, I went to work with one of the major oil companies and found myself being fast-tracked into management in systems. It was then that I began taking my work home when a complex or demanding project came my way… so I could work in the quiet of the night…. then I could think, creativity came more easily…answers to critical questions would come to me, puzzles could be solved.
The older I got, the more I appreciated the value of silence. I learned to use this time for meditation, processing, connecting to my core self, saying my prayers and giving thanks… in the silence I can be clear and objective, I can collect my energy.. in the dark of the night I can focus on writing – whether I have readings or articles to write, the silence serves me well….
When I started working for myself, building and working the web sites, often I would turn the TV on in the morning and not turn it off until I went to bed, sometimes as late as 4 AM. … I lived alone with my son, so I thought I needed the company of other voices around me… but then I recognized that with the noise, I was distracted very easily, my energy was scattered, I was not so productive as I used to be… So I began turning the TV on much later in the day, and off shortly after the 11:00 news. Then I can hear the wind and the rain, the neighbourhood critters squabbling over territory, the trains at work and the cracks of thunder. I can watch the moon and marvel at the stars.
In the silence, intuition rises, I can touch my soul, process my pains.. and I can see the past with a new perspective, and the future with greater understanding.
Our little community will have a bonfire at one or another's home almost every week-end whenever the weather allows….. it is interesting how often we will sit in silence, watching the fire…lost in thought…. only the crackle of the fire disturbing the quiet of the night… these nights are so healing… each person feeling the support of the group without need of conversation.
Certainly, some noise is joyful… music is essential for communications in any culture; music has the power to uplift and to bring diverse peoples together… and sometimes the noise in your home is like music… I remember a time when my young nephews (at least 4 of them) were all playing in the basement at Christmas… they were having fun, their shouts and laughter made the adults upstairs feel good, everyone was getting along. It was a happy time for all, but then all good things come to an end and it came time for all of them to go home. I sat with my parents for a bit after they left… the house suddenly very quiet… and we all laughed as we let our breath out, only then recognizing how all the noise had rattled us.
My son is disabled and has a serious problem with anger that can erupt and escalate, sometimes to the point of violence… I used to try to outscream him in an attempt to get control… but then I saw the power of silence, and being soft spoken once I speak… instead of shouting, I learned to speak in a low but very assertive manner – or I would completely ignore him, I would go into the silence and stay there -, Invariably, he would calm down and listen to reason.
So many of us are afraid of the silence, afraid to look inward.. yet the silence is nourishing, soothing,,, a gift of pondering, wondering, a time to weave your future,,
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of life, turn off the radio, the TV , turn off your phones and I-Pods… listen… to yourself and your world – seek the silence.. take time to process and to heal… be quiet – allow the answers and solutions to come out of the silence.