Silence: A Forgotten Friend

“Silence is a source of great strength.” Lao Tzu

“Silence is a true friend who never betrays.” Confucius

“Silence is true wisdom’s best reply.” Euripides

Finding silence in the snowy mountains.

Finding silence in the snowy mountains.

Last week I had the pleasure of going on a quick backcountry ski tour—just me and my pup, Moki. It was such a treat.  I hadn’t gone backcountry downhill skiing (or any downhill skiing, for that matter) since well before Opal was born.  I’ve been downhill skiing since I was three, so it’s kind of ingrained in my epigenetic DNA.  I long for it when I haven’t gone in a long time.  I miss it like a long lost friend.  (If you are unfamiliar with backcountry skiing, there is a long winded explanation at the end of this post!)

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  1. Krista says:

    Oh how I have missed true silence. It has probably been a couple of years since I have been able to experience complete silence. The funny thing is I recall my silence up on top of snowy mountains as well. It’s one of the most peaceful and relaxing experiences. Since I probably won’t be able to experience complete silence until next winter, I am striving to get some silence at the end of my day. This gives me time to regroup myself and relax before bed. Because those whining children happen to live in my house as well! I will definitely give your quick medication a try and see how it helps!

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Yes, do try it! It’s an easy little relaxation/focusing exercise and quick reminder to be present. Maybe there isn’t anything quite like the silence found in the snowy mountains? I hope your next venture into silence is rejuvenating 🙂

  2. Marilyn says:

    That photo of Ava and Opal is adorable.

  3. Joy Pascarella says:

    We live on 9 acres but with a main road just 0ne mile away and neighbors that have animals, barking dogs, machinery and yelling over the sounds, it can get pretty loud, so much that I can not just sit and hear the quiet of the birds singing or the frogs jumping in the pond. We have started to look for a more quiet place away from traffic and people. I know that quiet you speak of. While looking for a house, we waited for the realtor to show up, and it was dead silence. I can still here it in my mind. Will never forget the feeling of relaxation that came with the peace. We are still looking for a perfect house , but if I close my eyes and think about that house location, I can still get peace. Thanks for reminding me about it and I will be pulling it out every once in a while to think about it.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks for sharing, Joy! It’s amazing that even with a nine acre slice of land in the country, there are still so many sounds. Many of them are joyful, full of life and love and welcomed…but dead silence is hard to find! I hope you find your ideal spot 🙂

  4. Laura R. says:

    This is my church, I thought. This is my solace and reprieve.

    Amen!! Thank you for articulating what I have felt in my life !! Being outside is everything 🙂

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Some of my favorite environmental/nature writers allude to natural areas as their holy/spiritual places and it has always resonated with me, as well! Get outside!

  5. Debbie says:

    Hi Alex!
    I LOVE silence. Your note today reminded me of cross country skiing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains years ago. I remember the kind of quiet where you could almost hear the suns rays hitting the snow covered branches. Here on the shorelines we get some great quiet too. Just waves and a few birds can be just enough silence to quiet all that brain chatter. I love that you got out to experience some silence again. It’s is so refreshing to ones mood.
    You girls are growing and so adorable. Savor these NOT so quiet years with them!
    Happy Spring and Farmgirl Hugs,
    Deb ( Beach Farmgirl )

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks, Deb! After writing this I was thinking about how most of the sound in life is of the good, kind, memory-making variety. The quiet and rhythm of a beach away from “it all” is one of my other favorite forms of silence! Hope you are great!

  6. Susabelle says:

    I love silence. I am an extrovert, but with some introvert in there that recharges in silence and peace. I usually get this in the mountains. It may not ever be completely quiet – there is the sound of the wind in the pines, and the crackle of water flowing under ice, the occasional call of a winter fowl or in late winter, the huffing of a bear out of sight but definitely not out of hearing! But it is where I find my peace, and my solitude, and my silence. It can really clear my head and heart, which I need so desperately in my busy life.

    Side note: this is the time of year when I stop sleeping. Not completely, but as soon as mid-February hits and we are getting more sun, and through early November, I sleep as little as 4.5 to 5 hours a day. I am not tired, or sleepy, and I function fine. I sleep deeply through December, January, and February, getting 8 hours but never really more than that. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized this was my “normal” and that there was nothing wrong with it, that this is just how my body deals with nature.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      It sounds like you are very in tune with nature, Susabelle! It’s cool to hear about how your body responds to the seasons. My sleep also gets a bit restless…however I cannot function very well on little sleep, so it can be a struggle. There are the ambient sounds in the mountains, for sure. I did notice a few moments of dead silence before the birds were okay with my presence though. Really amazing! As for huffing bears–what a life affirming sound to hear :).

  7. Sandi King says:

    Alex, Silence is so peaceful and calming. The only time I can get close to “silence” is very early on Sunday morning. Here no one is up that early and I go across the road to let my girls (hens) out to run in their enclosed area. But before I do I savor the silence. It is better during the colder months as many sleep in or already gone for the day. It is not true silence but close. I also long for that ‘truly deep silence’ that being away from all noise of life activities brings. The only other silent time I remember was on the farm in NYS late at night and the only sound was the lonely call of the whipporwill. I haven’t heard one of them in over 50 years. I sure miss it.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Oh! I love whippoorwills, too. I haven’t heard one since spring evenings in Wisconsin about ten years ago. I love the imagery of your Sunday morning ritual. Here’s to more peace and calm!

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