Winter white still covers the ground here in New Hampshire as we celebrate the return of the Sun and the spring equinox. Feeling the nudges of spring rumbling around deep inside me, there are still strong urges for silence and solitude ~ for non-action and stillness.
Perhaps it is the presence of two feet of snow? Perhaps it is in preparation for some new beginning that is yet unclear and needs more time to gestate? Luckily, I know enough to trust the deep yearning for quiet space. I listen and accept that this is true for now and create it. Although I have our monthly day of silence upcoming, I have added several other spaces to be alone and be still.
Sometimes it seems the only practice I truly know that keeps me connected to myself and thereby connected to the whole of creation, is the blessed practice of silence. For this awareness I have gratitude. Whenever I come home to myself, I seem to come home to everything around me as well. This beautiful poem by Thomas Merton speaks directly to this well of silence that connects us all – one to another and to all that is.
With you in spirit in this time of changing seasons – both north and south,
Peri (and Barbara)
Be still. Listen to the stones of the wall. Be silent, they try To speak your
Name. Listen To the living walls. Who are you? Who Are you? Whose Silence are you?
Who (be quiet) Are you (as these stones Are quiet). Do not Think of what you are Still less of What you may one day be. Rather Be what you are (but who?) be The unthinkable one You do not know.
O be still, while You are still alive, And all things live around you Speaking (I do not hear) To your own being, Speaking by the Unknown That is in you and in themselves.
“I will try, like them To be my own silence: And this is difficult. The whole World is secretly on fire. The stones Burn, even the stones They burn me. How can a man be still or Listen to all things burning? How can he dare To sit with them When all their silence Is on fire?”
~ Thomas Merton ~
(The Strange Islands: Poems by Thomas Merton)