As I sit here at my computer, I'm listening to my itunes play list at the same time. In the other room, the television is broacasting the Today show, except no one is in there to watch it but the dog. Upstairs, the tv is on in my bedroom because I forgot to turn it off before I came downstairs this morning. I'm sure its tuned to Good Morning America. The dishwasher is running, the washing machine is spinning quite loudly, and the sprinklers are on outside, which makes the pump in the basement run. I inundate myself with noise, almost constantly. Some can't be helped, but really? 2 tvs on when I'm the only one home? And I'm not even watching them!
Two weeks ago, my son and I finished up his Confirmation class at church with a mini-retreat, which was a lot of fun. One of the activities we participated in happened Friday evening at church. We were invited into the youth center, and we were told how we were going to proceed with the activity after we watched a video. The only request from the Youth Pastor was that this activity be in complete silence. No talking. (and if you know me, you know that's really difficult!) We watched a video that talked about how much noise we subject ourselves to on a daily basis. Back in 1975, there was this guy that recorded nature sounds for use in documentaries and movies. To obtain one hour of usable sounds, he would have to record for 20 hours. Now, he has to record for 2000 hours! It takes that much time because of all of the extraneous noises like cars, planes, construction, and stuff like that. Then the video went silent, and we sat there, reading the words on the screen without any noise at all. It was very uncomfortable, especially when the video stopped and we continued to just sit there. Why does silence make us so uncomfortable? But as I sat there, in silence, I could feel myself starting to relax and I hadn't even realized that I wasn't relaxed. The video mentioned that we often ask God to speak to us, but we never take the time to listen. That rang very true with me.
The rest of the evening's activities, all done in silence, were thought provoking and resulted in me getting to know my son even better than I already do. The next day, when I asked him what his favorite part of the evening was, he told me that he liked the silence the best. Considering that our group had gone out to eat and had a scavenger hunt at the mall, I thought that would have been his answer. We talked about how hard it is to find a place that is really, completely silent. About how we need to force ourselves to be uncomfortable for a few minutes in silence until we adjust and relax. Maybe we're missing some important messages that God is trying to send. At the very least, our brains need some quiet time.
So I'm trying to incorporate some silence into each day at some point. Instead of hopping in the car and turning up the radio, I try to ride a few miles without noise just to gather my thoughts. And when I do yardwork, I'm trying to leave my ipod in the house. I used to do a lot of thinking while weeding, solving the world's problems while thoughtlessly pulling out dandelions. Then I got an ipod, and it seemed more appealing than silence. Why don't you give it a try, see if you can be silent. I guess all I am saying, is give peace a chance. ( so sorry, I couldn't resist!)
Although I haven't been there yet, I'm really happy that the Farmer's Market is finally open. Its one of my favorite places to go, and all of that fresh produce is so appealing. My mom used to take me with her (when I was little, of course) when she would go on Saturday mornings. She knew my favorite treat was raspberries with milk and sugar so she would buy them when they were in season. Our famer's market now has several vendors that sell other stuff besides fruits and vegetables - there's The Cheese Lady, and the Amish bakery, the guy that sells jerky and lots of perennial vendors too. Those are my favorites. And its so nice to talk to the farmers themselves. Its nice to know where my food comes from.
Go enjoy your day!