I am convinced that the roar of silence is the sound of winds aloft. Hearing the roar of silence is a part of ranch life. Today, I began to think about it in a philosophical way. As the silence surrounds me, my mind recalls a favorite of mine. T.S. Eliot, an American poet, wrote a poem titled, ‘Silence’. Eliot alluded to the fact that he was terrified of the peace of silence. Silence does not scare me, nor does it bother me in the least. I embrace the cessation of sounds around me. When one is alone, you’re all you have, and you can get a real sense of your inner self. As long as you have your faith and a sense of wellbeing, you have a moment in time where you can reflect on what is really important in your own life. The silence and aloneness brings this into sharp focus.
I was not always comfortable with being alone. I grew up in a family of nine people. My first memory of being alone was while milking our cow, Bossy. Even then I was not alone. That milk cow became my companion. As a young married woman, I received my first taste of true silence. It wasn’t long before I became comfortable with the hush of the early dawn. When I think of peace and quiet, I think of our home and our life on the ranch. The longer my husband and I are together, we have come to be at ease with those moments of silence between us. There are long periods of times when we may not utter a single word. Some things are better left unsaid. Silence is a conversation in itself. When you are free of distractions it is amazing how clear you can think. In our world of chaos, silence is a retreat for the soul. It gives us a place to rest from our thoughts, allowing us precious moments to enjoy the solitude of the tranquil space we are caught up in.
Nature is full of restful sounds, and it’s never truly silent most of the time. Sounds are layered. The sound of birds singing, the coyote’s call breaking the silence that lays over the air like a thick soundproof carpet, the song of the mating call of locusts, the scuttling movements of a beetle, or the breeze weaving its way through the leaves or brush may bring me back to an awareness of my surroundings. There are times, though, that not even a peep can be heard. The dead of night, the hottest part of a summer day when nothing moves, or the silence after a gentle snowfall.
When I visit a art museum or go just to look at art, I love to be surrounded by silence. To view art in complete silence is one of my greatest enjoyments. My mind slows to a snail’s pace, and I have space to think and to enjoy the emotions of the art. The silence inspires my creative thoughts and allows me freedom of uninterrupted thought.
Helen Keller said it best, “There is beauty in everything, even silence and darkness.”