Not an angry or hostile silence but a comfortable one.
It was good to get some breeze against the face again, and the blood flowing through the veins again.
The snow is nearly gone.
The silence is good too.
There are so many opportunities for my spirit to be in turmoil these days, and I need to choose the simpler ways. The ways of peace and silence, of solitude and simplicity.
Last week I wrote:
Silence in our day and age has become a rare commodity. In fact, in many places it is difficult if not impossible to experience real silence. Our homes are filled with noisy appliances, heaters and air conditioners. The stereo is on and the television broadcasts its noise to a waiting world. Our cars have am/fm/satellite/cd/dvd/ipod options so that we feel guilty if we drive in silence. Even when we are out in nature walking or running, we pipe noise into our ears to make the time more enjoyable or more productive. We long for silence and yet we are afraid of it. When the outside noise is stilled, we begin to hear our inner noise replaying history or planning for the future.
Silence is not the purpose of a contemplative retreat, but rather the vehicle through which we are paying attention to God. We discover that once weâ€™ve silenced our mouths and our minds we seem to be able to see and hear with greater clarity the created world around us. For when we do not need to share our experience by talking about it, we can simply be with whatever is happening and know it to be a gift from God.
I really need to practice what I preach these days. Perhaps thats one reason that it seems everything conspires against me. The stresses of family and work and broken houses and sick friends... I need to learn what stillness looks like in times like this.
I suppose anyone can be still when nothing is happening, but it takes some practice to learn the art of inner stillness when everything is crazy.
And so this week I shall try to practice that which I preach.
I will attempt to be still, and know who is God in my life.