we need both.
I have always been in favour of silence.
Some call it shy, some call it introverted, some call it awkward.
As a child my family would make observations to my parents about how incredibly mute I was at gatherings. My grade 2 teacher took my parents aside and speculated that my quiet behaviour was unusual, maybe even wrong, and interrupting my ability to create friendship. In grade 4, when our Papa died (my first experience with death) I recall eating a few too many shortbread cookies upstairs in the funeral home, and when arriving to the difficult goodbye I was wordless and lacking emotional expression compared to my sisters, just a year apart. I sat there watching my cousin tearfully share her memories. Shortly after did my dad deliver a poem to his mother, my nana perfectly descriptive of an insightful young girl who knew her papa couldn’t stay. I never felt wrong in my silence. I never worked too hard to become what my grade 2 teacher thought I should be. My parents and my sisters accepted me, and so did a great friend down the street.
Choosing to be on the sidelines interlaced with the adolescent culture of desire was a polarity I had conflict with. It wasn’t until substance organically immersed itself into the connections I had with others, did I take authority to have both in my life: comforting silence and meaningful noise.
I make soap some days in silence and some days with music thumping. I practice meditation in the serenity of nature some days and others amongst the drive of my city bike ride. I teach yoga sometimes with more words to be shared and other times with less. I speak to my distance family sometimes weekly, and then other times monthly. My someday husband and I paddle the lake with no words to be shared, yet then comes loud moments laughing, listening to music full volume while we clean our home together. I sit with friends around a backyard fire, all of us mesmerized by the flames until a voice speaks, then do we enjoy in the delight of conversation.
In our lives, there is much to be quiet about and much to be loud over. As a woman reaching her 29th birthday, the balance of both silence and noise has come to wrap me with life experiences that are held lovingly in my bones.
I smile at how quiet moments require noise to remember silence. How commotion requires quiet moments to remember noise.
Do you have the balance of comforting silence and meaningful noise?