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A Monday meander: Silence

The silence of sunset.

Silence is like a cradle holding our endeavors and our will; a silent spaciousness sustains us in our work and at the same time connects us to larger worlds that, in the busyness of our daily struggle to achieve, we have not yet investigated. Silence is the soul’s break for freedom.

~David Whyte

Listen to the silence as it echoes around you. Ancient spirits dance to it.

~Amber Coverdalle Sumrall

The silence of clouds drifting by.

You might think, given how little I’ve been blogging lately, that I’ve been practicing some form of silence.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  My life has been filled with noise of some kind or another, and a vow of silence is not something anyone would accuse me of having taken in recent weeks or months.  Generally speaking, I spend so much time alone that when I’m with people I tend to be a chatterbox (or, as one friend put it long ago, a babbling brook).

Ready for Trombone Shorty’s Voodoo Threauxdown at the Freeman Stage.

The noise I write of is a good kind of noise.  The sounds of summer.  Waves crashing to shore, crickets chirping, cicadas whirring and buzzing, tree frogs trilling, wind rustling grasses and leaves, a neighborhood rooster crowing whenever he feels like it, the splashing sounds of people in the water, the loud hum of machinery as the farmers bring in the harvest.  There have been conversations, laughter, giggles, and all kinds of other noises that adults make when they are with little ones.  Our grandsons came back with their parents for a second visit (and to pick up Jake the Dog who, as you might recall, stayed with us for a little over a week).  During Jake’s stay, M and I went to the Freeman Stage in Delaware to listen to some fantastic music as part of Trombone Shorty’s Voodoo Threauxdown tour.  There has been very little silence in my life of late.

Little Peanut playing in the living room.

There are subtle signs that all of the summer sounds will soon be autumn sounds.  The blackbirds are beginning to gather in flocks.  Geese fly overhead in their chevron shapes, honking about their next big adventure.  The shadows at sunrise and sunset are growing longer.  Mornings are foggy or dewy or a combination of the two.  We’ve had some cooler nights associated with a cold front that also brought us slightly cooler days.

The silence of a rose in the evening.

Today it is hot and humid again, and the breeze that’s blowing around the ranch isn’t enough to make it feel even a little bit cooler or drier.  The house is currently empty of visiting family and friends.  Even M has gone back to his regular work schedule although that’s temporary because there is more family in our immediate future.  My father will be coming for a visit, staying for about a week.  After he goes home, around the 8th of September, we’ll settle back into quiet and routine again.

The silence of a Monarch in the garden.

Because the house is clean, almost spring-cleaning clean (I thoroughly scrubbed the place after Jake the Dog went home on the 20th because dogs drool and leave lots of hair), and most of the outdoor chores are done, I’ve had some time to explore a bit of cyberspace today, visiting some of my blog friends and neighbors, listening to a talk or two, and finding some new stuff here and there.  One of the new things I found is Emergence Magazine, an online magazine that is currently free and offering an interesting mix of media on a quarterly basis (the printed version comes out yearly), each issue revolving around a specific theme.  There are essays, poetry, videos, immersive activities, and even a practice.  If you have time, you might want to explore the magazine and even take some time for the Experience or the Practice.  The current theme is Wildness (and how could that NOT draw me in?), and it includes an essay by George Prochnik on Silence.

Contemplating the Monarch in silence.

I have been thinking a lot about silence in this season of not-so-silent.  I signed up for an autumn yogic detox/cleanse that takes place during the entire month of October.  I suppose I ought to say that I purchased it or subscribed to it since it isn’t free.  After this summer of family, friends, love, busyness, travel, and a lot of overindulgence in the sweet and the salty, I’m looking forward to pulling back, retreating, taking some time to engage in some radical self-care.  Yogic detox/cleanse programs usually take place in the spring, to get us ready for more activity.  This particular one is a getting ready for winter, a feathering of the nest for the colder months (that, on this sweltering day, seem far and away).

Whispering in the garden.

I am wondering about a vow of silence.  Nothing drastic.  A few days in October of listening rather than talking.  I thought I might combine that with one of the exercises from the book Zen Camera (by David Ulrich): immersive attention (going somewhere for a predetermined time — an hour or more — and becoming a part of the space, looking at the details, simply observing without taking photographs).  I’m not so sure about that, though, since journaling is allowed to write down your impressions and thoughts.  If I’m using words, even in writing, is it still silence?

The color red is so noisy that I’m sure it can ever be considered silent.

I reckon that’s about it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch and from me on this thick and sticky last Monday in August.  Thank you so much for stopping by and joining me on another meander.  If it’s windy enough to keep away the biting insects (mosquitoes, chiggers, noseeums, and giant flies are out in force), let’s meet at the Point to watch the sun as it slips down behind the horizon.  Sunset is scheduled for 7:42 PM.  Wow.  I didn’t realize sunset had moved to such an earlier time.  The last time I checked (which was only two weeks ago!), sunset was at 8:01 PM.  Anyhow.  I’ll be there early with the insect repellent (in case you need some, too).  The heat and haziness often produce some lovely and colorful sunsets.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

When the silence of night comes to shore.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  811)  Another visit with my grandsons and their parents.  812)  A thoroughly cleaned house.  There’s something so relaxing about it.  813)  A delicious rice bowl for lunch.  814)  Silence, even it’s not truly silent.  815)  Saved the best for last today — Celebrating 42 years of life, the universe, marriage, and everything with M today.  ♥

Silent silhouette at sunset.
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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

13 thoughts on “A Monday meander: Silence

  1. Hot and humid here too. I’m glad I’m not camping, though it sort of feels like it here as the air conditioning is down. Perfect timing, right? I was FREEZING last Wednesday and Thursday nights up north while sleeping in the tent. Tonight we’re talking about making a bed in the basement to get through this heat wave.

    I spend a lot of time alone too, but it’s not nearly enough! And I don’t have as many visitors as you do. In fact this summer I don’t think we have any at all. But that’s probably because I saw all of my immediate family when I was in Alabama in June.

    This year I am looking forward to fall. I don’t know why, but it’s probably because I will be able to do more adventuring when it’s cooler.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stunning photos. And yes, where did the month go? I, too, was surprised by how early the sunset is now. I’m not complaining. I’m eager to be in my favorite times of the year, but still appreciating the now (despite the sweat). (Red is just loud, isn’t it? 🙂 )

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  3. Happy Anniversary! It sounds like your last few weeks have been filled with joy and happy sounds. Stunning photos–as always. 🙂 I hope you get to see the earlier sunset. (I’m not ready for shorter days.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As usual, wonderful photos and good thoughts to ponder. Not sure if we are ever in a time and place with total silence. Hot & humid returned yesterday for a few days. YUK … I don’t like it! … then again, I can’t change it. BTW – hope you can stop by tomorrow (Tuesday).

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  5. Happy Anniversary! A lifetime together. ❤
    I don’t think I could be totally silent for days at a time. I’m a talker, but not so much as when I was younger. I’ve grown quieter with age probably because I realize most talk is mundane. All bets are off when I’m with my sisters, however! 😉
    Beautiful photos, per usual. Your life is blessedly full!

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  6. You are woven into the songs of life. (Those 3 whispering zinnias are elegant and awesome as that word first bloomed)
    As with music where there’s a pause/”rest” sign or painting where there needs to be some small space with nothing going on – in life silence is needed – to give emphasis as well as discover to all that life is.
    As with the disappearing dark skies, actual quiet – silence is becoming so rare. Wrap yourself in it’s richness!

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  7. There are a few signs of impending fall here – the crabapple trees are loaded with red berries and yellowing leaves. Nights are chilly, and days are pleasant, in the low 70s right now. The smoke has cleared out and today we have actual bright blue skies and can go out and take deep breaths. It is wonderful. Love your photos – I always do. And silence? An essential part of my life. If I am writing, is it silence? No, it’s not because as I write I whisper the words to myself, I just realized. Wonder when that started?

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  8. Happy anniversary and congratulations. I love silence – I should have been a hermit – I also like being alone (don’t count the dog) mostly I like when my mind is quiet. But it is nice to interact and meetup and have times of being meaningfully social – I can’t bear trivia! Balance I guess in all things 🙂 I can imagine you photographing in silence – paying attention and concentrating is like a good meditation.

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  9. “Silence is the soul’s break for freedom.” That strikes me as true. I think there are a few rare times when I’ve experienced perfect, thoughtless, silence, and they seem to me spiritually renewing.

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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