The Language of Silence
Well, it is 4:30am and I am awake, yet again. I awoke from a dream and couldn’t go back to sleep. So getting up, I settled on the couch and was instantly caught up in listening.
The wind which is harassing our trailer sounds like winter. It has a howl to it, empty and cold. The furnace has cut in a number of times since I have been sitting here. I feel I would see snow if I opened the blinds of the window. It is amazing to me how a summer wind sounds so different from a winter wind. Winter sounds hollow and sad, whereas summer wind sounds full, warm and content. I listen to this early morning wind whistling around corners, shaking the trailer, moaning its sad song and it makes me feel…what? Melancholy, sad, maybe meditative. It’s like the call of the loon – lonely, haunting and yes, sad. The sound draws me in. Weirdly, for me, it is an energizing, creative calling sound; not in a ‘perky’ kind of way but in a deep contemplative kind of way.
I want to listen – really listen. Not just with my ears but with my whole sense which seems to be listening and absorbing. I feel the language in the tones of the wind. I believe there is language in the wind. Just because I don’t understand the language does not mean it’s not evident. I don’t understand Spanish but I can still hear it and recognize tonal meaning. So it is with the wind and sometimes (bear with me here) air and space. One can hear the tonal language in the atmosphere surrounding. It can be heaviness or a joy, lightness in the air. Or it can be a foreboding expectation – yet in both instances there may be no people present – it’s just “in the air.” Ever heard that before?
There is something that knocks at the consciousness that calls one to listen. To just sit quiet—listen. There is a healing, energizing component to listening with your whole being. Even now as I try to describe it, I want to get lost in it. It is not a trance though; it is not doing ‘nothing.’ Listening is an active, absorbing, reaching, collecting activity. It takes a little while (not too long) to get past the normal everyday “white” noise. For me now it would be – the click clanking of the clock; the creaking of the furnace; the squeaking of the R.V.; now the electric heater kicks in…but get past these things and there is a delightful, inviting sound to silence.
I use to think silence was well, just that… silent. But silence has a comforting sound and tone all to itself. If…one would just sit still long enough to hear it. Have patience, wait, and stay with it. Suddenly the warmth of silence begins to penetrate the soul, bringing in its arms comfort, deep soul rest, courage and strength, as well as a bone deep energy. This kind of silence encourages me to “know” that anything is possible.
Now, place this on an open horizon—with space, air, big never ending sky—and the language of silence is increased exponentially. Space, openness is a megaphone for the quietness of silence. As the silence gets louder its intensity increases. It’s like if I “listen” hard enough, full enough, still enough I will actually hear the words on the wind, speaking who knows what mysteries, what deep knowledge known only to the wind’s originator. I do know this —the silence wants to share, companionably. It calls continually.
Silence, space, stillness, they are the voice of God in His creation. And I am too—His creation, made with an affinity for His voice. I am made for the voice of creation, the voice of the Creator—who spoke and created. It is His voice, His Word, His language which holds all together. Listen…and you will hear it as it wraps itself around your being.
Reminding us, the created, of our Creator.
Instructing us, leading us, forming us.
There’s a force in the language of silence.
A healing, growing force.
A directive force.
Drawing, holding and restful.
The comforting, soothing, safe voice of silence.