The Blessing of Silence in a Hectic World

the silence of cypress trees on a lake

It never ceases to amaze me that Nature never ceases to amaze me. I was reminded of that as I stood by a Cypress tree-dotted lake yesterday. I stood, listening to the quiet, and realized that Silence has many facets.

While standing by the water, I listened to the hushed quiet. It felt as if I was enveloped in a soft blanket, with no sound at all penetrating that cocoon. Even the sounds of The Country Boy working on a pump seemed to be absorbed into the very air before it could travel more than an inch.

I could feel a soft breeze stirring around me, and watch as that breath of air stirred the lacy shawl of leaves on the Cypress, but heard nothing. My very footsteps across the carpet of leaves were hushed, as if any sound at all would shatter the delicate balance.

a boat on the edge of a pond surrounded by mist

Silence on the Farm

Silence on the farm is so different, yet somehow, still just as soothing. As I stand in my pasture, I can hear even the slightest movement made by a gentle breeze – the rustling of the grass; Pine needles brushing against one another; birdsong; the leap of a cricket.

All of it seems to echo, as if on stage in some unnamed production. I have discovered that, if I visit with someone in the yard at the house, the Country Boy can hear those voices in his deer stand, thirty acres away, like an actor projecting to the back of the theater. Even the stand of trees isn’t enough to keep the sounds from traveling.

The beauty of Silence is its ever-changing qualities. We define Silence as a complete absence of sound, but there is no true way to achieve that. Silence can be as quiet as a breath, and a cacophony of whispers. She can soothe or frighten, bring a smile or shower you with tears. And she never stays the same – her shifts are as ephemeral as smoke.

a canopy of trees

A Quiet & Beautiful Companion

But to me, she is a lovely companion. I relish her company as I walk through the woods around the Plantation. I love to hear her thoughts on the beauty of the wildflowers that surrounds me – I can hear her sing with the Martins, chastise disruptions with the crickets and laugh with the water in the creek.

She is also an excellent helper.  Silence helps me to work out problems while wash dishes, and hums along with me.  She dances to the cadence of the washing machine cycles, and hums along with the swishing of the broom and mop.

In today’s society, we spend so much time rushing around. We race from our home to our job, with the radio blaring – whether it is music, a newscast or a talk show.

We are surrounded by a cacophony of noise in our office with a telephone ringing, voices vying to be heard and doors opening and shutting.

As we run our errands, we are assaulted by the noise of traffic, overhead announcements in stores and more voices blending together to create a constant clamor. And when it’s all over, we head back home with the same babel we started out with.

enjoying the silence with an afternoon tea

Enjoy the Silence

Isn’t it time we reacquaint ourselves with Silence? She can be a great friend – helping us to calm shattered nerves, teaching us to breathe again, and showing us how to organize those scattered thoughts that have created their own type of din in our heads.

It is time to make peace with ourselves, and take the time to take a few moments of the day to just Be. Start with afternoon tea under the shade of an old tree. 

Take a walk through a garden. Sit on a swing and write in your journal.  Contemplate shifting to a better, quieter, simpler life. And while doing all of this, just listen. Just breathe.

Our bodies will thank us. Our thoughts will settle. Our hearts will smile again. And our world will be a more beautiful place.

Good morning, Silence. Let’s go take a walk and visit for a while.



Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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