When I need silence the most is when it seems to slip out of reach. In fact, it is deafening. There's a stirring of mismatched notes clashing and banging into one another like an orchestra tuning up before a concert. Harmony found in the coupling of complimentary instruments is missing. It's just incessant, complicated, thunderous noise. Stress is the red light indicator which makes us aware of the need to find a way to hush up.
Sometimes silence is found in the wind. If I'm walking on a blustery day, the constant sound of the wind acts as a buffer which shelters my own quiet thoughts as I process them and then let them flow away. I think some people like the white noise of a fan at night when they are trying to go to sleep. It allows them to feel some kind of protection from other external sounds, which then allows them to focus on sleep.
Music can do the same thing. Surrounding yourself in a favourite song or melody, one that is pleasing to your senses can calm down the noisy internal jitteries in an instant. A long day of interactions, reactions and connections ......... the bustle of busy can all slip away while listening to music ......... leaving you in a much better place to reflect. It's like the music wraps ribbons around your thoughts and pulls them out one at a time instead of all at once.
We need it more than we need thunder. When you think about it, planet earth revolves and evolves in silence. Sunrises make no noise. Flowers keep to themselves. Have you ever heard a blade of grass yelp due to growing pains? A sunkissed afternoon in the garden has the healing power of allowing you to learn from nature's hushed prayer.
If we want to be able to listen for the footsteps of understanding ourselves and the world around us, we need to find our focus through the incessant noises of life no matter how much discomfort is felt initially. It's funny how we will sometimes do everything in our power to cloak ourselves in the busyness of chaos just to avoid a moment alone with our own thoughts. Silence can be very frightening. What is it that we are afraid of? Could it be the fear of confronting parts of ourselves newly revealed that we may not like? Could it be the agony of recognizing the regrets of past actions and behaviour we may not be proud of? Could it be the scary idea that we are temporarily on this planet and we are all going to die one day? Of course it is..... We aren't unique. There's only so many fears to go around and we all experience them some time or another.
And yet, if we can push through the discomfort by offering ourselves to meditative silence, if we can work through the fears and intrusive thoughts, we will find ourselves in a meadow where peace and prayer reside. Faith needs the sustenance found in our moments when we try to talk to God. Faith grows during the silent opening of our vulnerable hearts when we are brave enough to listen for His whispering footsteps. And when we need it the most, we may have the biggest struggles to find that small holy space lost in the shadows where our fears reside. Nothing important comes without effort does it? I guess all the soul wrestling we do is well worth it in the long run.
Now if you would excuse me, I need to go stand in some hurricane winds. The screeching has got to stop.