Into the Silence


This is a guest post  written by Lorrie Marx-Adams . . .

Although I spend a delicious amount of time alone in silence, delicious to me because I am quite introverted, being alone in my home is not always experienced as a satiating quiet to my soul.  To experience the tranquility my soul craves requires that I step out into the natural world.

This morning I have stepped out onto my back porch and into the peaceful paradise of my backyard.  My soul is immediately soothed as my senses experience the sights, sounds, and sensations that only Mother Nature can provide.  The tinkling sound of the water running over the rocks in the stream behind our home reverberates through my body like the gentle picking of the strings on a harp. The stream and the quiet of the woods that surround our home are the reasons we bought this piece of land 8 years ago.  The stream is high and the water is running fast from the melting away of winter’s evidence.  In an instant the water washes over my nervous system, washing away all that is not real inside my mind, not important, and brings me to the quiet stillness at the core of my soul.  Here there is no dress rehearsal, no fears or worries, nothing but the present moment, the quiet presence of God, Great Spirit.

The sweet song of the birds, who have returned for spring, makes my heart fill with joy and gratitude.  Their song feels so elemental, instrumental, as it strums the strings of my soul.  Yes, I think, this is God.  My soul is gently caressed and awakened from its slumber, remembering what has always been, right here, right now.  The birds’ songs form a soothing, rythmic melody that floats on the gentle breeze of spring, a delight to my ears.

I am suddenly struck by the contrast in the quality of quiet between this backyard paradise and the so-called quiet only steps away inside my home where there is a  constant hum, or perhaps more aptly described as a cacophony of noise, emitted by a multitude of modern, man-made appliances that continuously assault my senses.  I am also struck by the irony in the marketing of these appliances and my experience of them.  These things that are supposed to make life easier and are marketed as something we just cannot live without, instead seem to suck the energy from my body.  They are constantly “on,” assaulting my ears with their noise pollution and subliminally demanding that I, too, should be constantly on and doing; like a master to a slave, I am not granted any time to just be!  These things, too, have an energy, a presence like that of an unwelcomed guest who demands your time and saps your energy.  Their constant demanding noise is foreign to my soul, like genetically modified food that my body cannot digest or recognize, in stark contrast to my experience on my back porch.

Constantly inundated with commercialism and consumerism in our society, we not only feel constant pressure to buy things but we buy into the fallacy that we need the stuff, more stuff, more money to buy more stuff, creating within us a never ending tempest of stress and anxiety to keep up with the demands of our master.  Like a drug, these things, be it appliances or the latest technology, promise relief, more time, but never deliver.  We are left wanting more.  The message is: it’s never enough, we’re never enough.  Consequently, we cannot find the peace, the serenity, the simplicity we crave that has been here all along, if we would just return to the natural world.

That peace, serenity, simplicity can be found in an instant if we would just allow ourselves time to be…life, the breath that is breathing through us…breathing in…breathing out…one with the natural world, the world God, Great Spirit created.  That’s where I am this morning, one with life, with the breath, with all that is real…breathing in…breathing out.  As the warm gentle breeze caresses my skin, tossing my hair across my face, I am grateful to be alive, to experience the sweetness of life, the natural world, through my senses.

It has been a long, cold winter, the longest I can recall.  My body has craved the warmth of spring.  Tunneling through this winter has left me seriously questioning whether it could be possible that spring may not come.  Like a hibernating bear stumbling sleepily from its den looking for food,  I have had to rummage around the deep recesses of my mind to arouse and awaken memories of spring and my faith in the predictability of Mother Nature’s seasons and cycles.  This, I tell myself, I can count on.  But like a lover that has been gone too long, I weep having forgotten the sweet tenderness of his kiss on my lips.  Inside I am dancing, dancing with the warm gentle breeze, my lover has returned.  I had forgotten the sensation of the warm wind tantalizing my skin.  I weep with the joy of being alive.  I dance with  dervish ecstacy.  I am breathing, really breathing, taking the sweet earthy air deep into my lungs.  It is as if I have been holding my breath waiting for my lover to return.

The breath, so simple, elementary, involuntary yet so elusive when the Ego controls the stage of one’s mind/body with its incessant parade of characters rehearsing their lines: fears, doubts, judgments, and anxieties.  I wonder how long it has been since I have breathed naturally from my diaphragm, trusting the flow of air, trusting the flow of life. Yet I know deep within my soul that even when fear and anxiety have hijacked me and trust was no where to be found, life was still right here, in the breath, carrying on its natural rhythm.  It was me who didn’t show up, my conscious awareness, who fell out of the dance steps with my lover, the rhythm of life, held captive by my Ego in a prison with no windows to my soul and the small still sweet voice of God within.  But today, we meet again.

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