A pregnant pause.
A companionable silence.
An awkward pause.
The sound of silence.
It can be deafening
It can be rich
Or a source of strength
Or a drain of energy
Some crave it
Others run from it
I love a good block of silence in my days. When Mondays come around, I’m delighted to be in my sunny study, writing or answering emails, or pondering. The quiet gives me time to process all that’s going on in my heart and in my head, for my thoughts seem to swirl around and around. I need time alone to catch some of those thoughts and process them. To get them down on paper and to make sense of them before God. To seek his inspiration, help, comfort, and love.
Over the summer, I worked on my dissertation for my master’s in Christian spirituality. I had three weeks in our home basically on my own – first the kids were at camps and my husband was on retreat, and then my husband took them on holiday. During the weekends we’d reconvene, all together in the vicarage, with the noise and hum of daily life once again appearing. And then they’d leave, and I’d be alone.
The first week I relished the silence, thrilled to be able to work uninterrupted as I slogged forth in laying down a first draft.
The second week I made sure I left the house a few times, set up a few video chats with friends, and was glad that my husband was home for a few of the days.
The third week I cried, feeling sorry for myself as I knew I had not only the excruciating work of rewriting my draft, but had to live in what now felt like crushing silence.
I made it through the summer alone. I know now that although in my daily life I yearn for slices of silence, I too need times with others.
How about you? What does silence mean to you?