Living in the city and raising a budding chatterbox make silence a rather rare experience these days. The babe's constant babbles; the horns, sirens, and screeches of nearly nonstop traffic; and the background buzz of a coffee shop work environment provide a consistent hum that is the soundtrack of my life. To be honest, I make decisions every day that contribute to the noise. Almost as soon as I enter the house, I turn on NPR; when I teach yoga, I employ a carefully crafted playlist; in the car, I sing with my daughter.
While retreating with friends last week, however, I had a rare opportunity to enjoy the sounds of silence. Tucked away in a mountain escape, we were far removed from radios, television, and traffic. The kiddos were as rambunctious as they wanted to be, but when they rested, we took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the serene environment. Sitting on the screened in porch in the afternoon or relaxing in front of the fire at night, we listened to the wind in the trees, the rain on the roof, and the rustling of wildlife all around. We did our fair share of talking: reminiscing and planning, but we also sat quietly, simply enjoying one another's presence without the need for words.
While escaping to the mountains may not be part of your summer plans, and city living isn't exactly conducive to silence, I recommend setting aside even a few minutes this week to enjoy a quiet moment. Leave your earbuds at home while walking to work, turn the television off at night, and listen for the little things we so often miss: the ticking of a clock, the sleepy sigh of a loved one, drops of rain on the window. Welcome the sounds of silence into your life.