Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Silence and the Wilderness

A discussion with Jenna and Mr. Pond

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

    ~Henry David Thoreau

Silence is hard to find. Even in the woods I will often turn around and find my silence gone. Without television and neighbors nearby, I often discover that the greatest enemy to my silence is myself. I can blame my husband, my daughter, my dog, or the demands of our social calendar, but I know the truth. There is time enough for the silence I need, too often I fill that time with the noise I don't need, the noise that drives out all peace and reflection.

I went to the woods to live deliberately, but the determination to live deliberately, to cultivate the sacred, often struggles against the temptation to "rest" in distraction for a while. Our world offers so many distractions, so many little noises that can break the internal silence and bury the individual in a crowded mass.

But, as Jenna says, this is the road I have taken to silence, it isn't everyone's road. It isn't even the road most can or should take. We are all individuals, the silence that soothes me, might fall short for another. The woods is not a home for everyone. Silence is necessary, but silence can be found internally, even in the city.

No comments:

Post a Comment