Sound of Silence


The room was cool, dark and smelled like lavender. I walked across the carpeted floor to the window. I opened the shutters and the morning sun cast rays of golden light into the room, filling it with sunlight. It always amazed me when light penetrated darkness. It made my heart feel light and airy. This morning was no different.

As I took a seat in the chair next to the window, l leaned my head back against the rocking chair’s head rest. As I started rocking to and fro I noticed there was no noise. The old rocking chair’s usual creaking was silenced by the carpet on the floor. There was no familiar sound of footsteps in the hall, no melodic sound of birds outside, no animal noises; only the sound of my breathing. Could this be similar to Paul Simon’s song?

I turned my head so that I could see out the beautiful plantation shutters that adorned the window. The view afforded me the site of tall majestic trees that rested on the lush green lawn. Their branches were covered in thousands, no, millions of beautiful green leaves. The leaves moved with what seemed a steady rhythm to a silent breeze that stirred them. They reflected back to me once again, a vision, but not noise.

Looking across the yard, I could see cattle grazing peacefully in the pastures that surrounded the house. Their munching on the grass was silenced by distance between me and them. I could see the calves run to their mothers, but I couldn’t hear the sound of their mother’s voice as she called them to her.

The hoof beats of the horses that ran free in the adjoining pasture were enjoyed by vision only, no sound could be heard; again the beauty of horses running free enjoyed by vision only. The nickering I knew they were making couldn’t be heard from this distance.

Things are touched by sound. My ears, the sunshine, the cool, once dark room now filled with sunlight, but no noise. In my mind this had created a place of fear. How could I have fear? I often wished I could shut out the outside noises, even hoped they would cease. Yet, now that they had I was fearful. This was insanity. What was going on with me? Why suddenly had no noise made me frightful? I should have realized this was the material experience I had so often wished for. This was that quiet place, a place of solitude, yet now that I was experiencing it I didn’t like it.

Our minds often create places that we wish for. We can just see them and think, ‘if only I had that I would be so happy.’ Then we find out later, sometimes too late, that isn’t what we want at all. We imagine in our mind that it will be wonderful, and then find out it’s not appealing at all. In fact we hate it.

With surprise, I realized I love sounds. I need sound to speak to me, to tell me what is going on in my world. As annoying as sounds can sometime be, I need that. It makes me feel alive. I yearned for the honking of car horns, the laughter of children, the sound of the bird’s song, my dog barking, and the voices of the ones I love. What I often considered annoying, really was a life giving force to me.

I sat back down in the old rocking chair and this time when I looked out the window I saw dark clouds gathering. Streaks of lightning danced across the sky. But, they were still too far away for me to hear the thunder that I knew accompanied them. Still I watched with hopeful sight, and then, ever so slightly I heard the drops of soft summer rain as it hit the window pane.

At first it was gentle, falling slowly and then it turned into a loud melody of rushing rain drops beating a steady cadence on the roof top and against the window pane. The silence had ended and been replaced with the rhythm of the rain, and it was beautiful music to my heart and to my ears.

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