I’m appreciating silence on this cool, breezy May morning, mostly because a loud lawnmower is very present in this moment. But that’s fine – contrast is necessary for true appreciation. When else is silence as sweet as the moment the lawnmower stops?
The topic of silence and listening has come up repeatedly in my head lately, as so many other thoughts bounce from side to side like bingo balls. Perhaps the desire for silence is borne out of the clanging noise of those balls ricocheting around.
About a month ago, I started this new thing – sitting in silence, refusing to think a thought at all, but listening intently – to nature, to the place itself.
And there’s a moment, maybe one minute in – after a good long minute of truly listening, where you’ll feel a shift. It’s different than meditating, where the goal is no thought, or focus only on one’s breath. This is about paying attention to sound, and reaching to listen.
At the moment of the shift, you’ll feel your own rhythm switch pace, almost click – into place with nature.Is it the heartbeat? Maybe. Maybe it’s an internal rhythm of a soul sort. Whatever it is…
…it’s really groovy.
I did it in the small boat shed at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum on Tuesday, and it was delicious. I listened to the echo of the room, mostly – distant sounds of people, machines. Time stood still, and when I re-emerged into my thinking self, I felt a different connection with the wooden boats – the trees that were planed, the builders, the men and women who rode high off the waters in them, and even with the bugs, crawling in and out.
A little woo-woo? Maybe.
But who doesn’t need a little woo, every once in a while?