I recently spent a night of solitude & silence amid the snow-covered fir trees surrounding Clear Lake, located in Oregon's Mt Hood National Forest.
Silence speaks to me in a way that provides the clarity, focus, strength & perspective that it takes to function in this noisy, chaotic, fast-paced world.
Not too long ago, while standing on my back patio, I simultaneously heard a car alarm blaring and ambulance sirens. I realized then that I could never live in a city. And I'm definitely not in the 'city.' The overlapping levels of noise poked and stirred at something inside me that made me dive deeply within to reflect on my need for silence.
If one takes the time to think about it, there are not a lot of moments of true, full silence in our world. Retreating to a place of silence provides me the awareness to hear. However, what I truly seek is the ability & spiritual development to bring the feelings of being surrounded by the silence to the noise of my daily life.
I found that. I found it deep in the forest. I found it next to a deeply frozen lake. I found in down a trail with no people. In a place with no modern comforts.
The night provided the rejuvenation I needed, just for the moment that I carry with me into many more.
Often times, people will ask me, "you're going all by yourself?" when I tell them where I'm going or what I'm doing, to which I answer emphatically yes!! Won't you get lonely? Yes, at times. Won't you be afraid? Sometimes, when the animals lurk around my tent. But even more so, my soul stirs deeply desiring the silence that I trek into the unknown.
As I crawled into my tent, the wind whipped. As I awoke, the sound of snowflakes landing softly on my tent and quiet chirps of some birds welcomed me to another day.
I wondered what they ate in this frozen terrain. I wondered how they slept and kept warm and alive. I wondered where they went and what they explored. And then I realized that these were quite possibly questions that some may wonder of me.
In the silence, I find strength and peace; it stirs my soul and settles my heart to face the world.
Mt. Hood, Oregon
February 25, 2017