Friday, January 14, 2011

Silence - Reynolds

Silence is golden, our grandmothers used to say. And though we don't often remember it, it is true. Silence is golden!

I stand on my skis on Hollyburn Ridge where two ski trails cross. No one else is around. Around me the air is thick with fog, and heavy. The mountain is socked in with heavy cloud. Everything is not only quiet, but completely muffled, absolutely still. Green trees fade into grey ghosts twenty or thirty yards from where I stand.

The snow lies on the ground and on the trees about me. Flakes that are almost rain softly, silently, fall. There is not a sound.

I stand and listen. The silence seems so good. It feels so right. In the words of the twenty-third psalm, it "restores my soul."

So much of modern life is noise. The radio is blaring. The television is on, constantly it seems. People are always talking. And around us, in our homes, there is always the sound of a motor -- the refrigerator, the furnace, someone's electric razor or hair dryer. We don't hear them consciously, but something is usually buzzing. Always noise.

Many years ago, far away from here, I stood on a country hillside, beside a farmhouse, in the chill darkness of a winter's night. A clear, still night. A night when you could hear the stars. On the slope the other side of the valley were the lights of distant houses and the occasional bark of a dog. I still remember, years later, the silence of that night, when every sound was audible.

"Be still and know that I am God," the Bible says (Psalm 46:10).
Sometimes it's only in the silence, in the stillness, that, listening, we can hear, and know!

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

I love it.
I don't ski, but you had me standing on a pair with you, savouring the surroundings and hearing the silence.
And perhaps you will have helped me hear more than the silence.
Thank you.

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