Recently, I took a road trip to the Smoky Mountains.
No planning, just a “go where the wind takes you” kind of trip.
It was an 8 day Responsibility Free Zone.
It was a Not Being a Mom (or a daughter or a sister or a friend or a teacher or a business owner) Zone.
I was with my spouse of 25+ years.
Warm and Loving.
Breathing in tons of cool, crisp autumn air.
Watching the red and yellow and orange leaves floating in the air.
Enveloped in the Smoky Mist of the Mountains.
And a lot of Quiet.
Both inside the car and outside in Nature.
At first it struck this City Girl as a bit awkward and uncomfortable.
In the car, the meaningful talks were scattered in between even longer periods of Quiet that I tried to cover and fill with lame jokes and meaningless chatter.
Outside, the sights and smells and fresh air left me with a deep desire for Quiet. (Who needs words amongst the Mountains?) But I felt a little guilty so I filled in the Quiet with observations and comments.
Not used to so much Quiet in the usual hustle and bustle of daily Urban life, the Quiet felt a little like a physical presence, another passenger in the car.
I thought a lot about Quiet as I was being busily not Quiet or guiltily Quiet.
On the third or fourth day, we came to a beautiful lake in the mountains and decided to have our lunch there on the banks of the lake. We unpacked and prepared and chatted a bit about how yummy our picnic looked and tasted. We then fell into a deep Quiet as we ate and appreciated our surroundings. Once or twice, I opened my mouth to speak but I just couldn’t disturb the beautiful Quiet. I finally gave in and allowed the deep and profound Quiet to work it’s magic on my body, mind and spirit. This time the Quiet felt natural and right and peaceful. It was a palpable presence that we both enjoyed. The Quiet seeped from the outside in. I realized that I had forgotten what real Quiet sounds like. How restful and healing Quiet is when allowed without guilt or expectations.
Mindfully, I observed what Quiet felt like for me. It felt like a soothing balm on a burn, like a light cover thrown over me while napping, like a soft smile, like a child’s head nestled on my shoulder.
I listened to the sound of Quiet. Quiet isn't really empty of substance or sound.
I guess Simon and Garfunkel were right. There is a Sound of Silence.
That sound is Me.