Beginning to hike up towards Falcondale Lake after another’s hours reading, I thought more about what silence actually is. What comes to mind:
- A synonym of stillness?
- Inner peace?
- An environment where these qualities can flourish?
- Absence of speech?
Upon reaching the lake, I sat down in a field (not raining in Wales) and watched the distant sheep (parents and newborn lambs) and swans. It was so quiet, it was divine. The birds were singing and the water was flowing (although some of it was frozen, it was quite cold). I discovered the sound of me chewing my apple broke the silence. Hmm. There are different kinds of silence. There’s complete silence, and countryside silence.
In my search to discover what is at the heart of silence, I wonder, am I getting silence and stillness mixed up? I heard the violin and the piano being played through the wall in the quiet uni-flat next door, and whilst I don’t think that can be described as silence, there was a deep beauty in the moment that silence can also hold.
So is it silence that we all need, or is it stillness? Is it simply peace and contemplation? Not that those two are simple in themselves, but they are perhaps rather easier concepts to understand readily. As Rowan writes of Silence and Honeycakes, there is diversity within our vocations. I see that there are introverts and extroverts, and wonder if we all do need silence. Or if this concept of solitude-silence can in fact be a concept of peaceful awareness and acceptance. When all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, can come together in this state of blissful awareness and acceptance of oneself’s true depths…