Can You Live With Silence

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By Executive Director, Kathy A. Weckwerth

The first thing I do after I open my eyes in the morning is talk to God.  Then, I talk to Farmer Dean.  Then, I turn the music on at my house.

My brother calls it “grocery store music,” but I call it music from the 1940s and 50s.  It’s soothing to my soul.  As a matter of fact, sometimes it takes me back to being a little child, shopping with my mother at the Hy-Vee in Clarinda, Iowa.

Once the grocery store music is playing throughout the house, I talk to people.  The house phone rings. The cell phone rings.  People … people … people.

The doors are opened to let the cool sounds of summer rain into my office, while the dripping drops plop onto the lawn furniture.  A screech of tires go past on the road outside the house, and a familiar honk of a large semi toots “hello” as it passes the little church.

All of these things bring me comfort.  All of these things relate to sound.  I love sound.

As a former Worship Director, I had music playing continuously.  I needed to listen to the latest and greatest so that my congregation could keep up with what was relevant.

Sounds are a constant in this world.

When Dean and I travel, we throw in a CD and listen to a pastor preach.  Or, I read a book out loud to the two of us.

When Dean and I are at home, we have the TV blaring the most recent news, or we have a CD of birds and music floating through the house.

But whatever I’m doing, wherever I am, I have to have sound.

That is … until last week.

Last week I was with my granddaughter, Cordelia.  Cordie and I decided to play with Play dough at the big old farm table.  I quick jumped up after I got everything set out and said to her, “I forgot, I’ll quick put the Little Mermaid CD in.”

And then it happened.  A three year old looked up from her masterpiece of a play dough snowman and said, “We don’t need sound, Nan.  We just need quiet.”

Huh?  What?  No sound.  I don’t think I can do it.

She looked directly at me and said, “Please, Nan, sit down.  Let’s just play in the quiet.”

And we did.

You know what happened?  I was at Peace.  I felt Patience.  I was Listening.  I was fully Attentive.  I was Engaged. I was Resting.

A three year old taught me a lesson I needed to  re-learn.  That sometimes the quiet is what works best.  Sometimes in quiet we can get more done, we can rest our weary minds and souls, we can embrace something that is so necessary in today’s world.

Quiet.  It does the body/mind/soul … good.

Try it today.