I love New Year’s Resolutions. Heck, I love all kinds of goals and every excuse to make them and renew them. And I’ve resolved to never do them the same way twice. So, for 2014, I wrote this post about my goals for the year in the form of 6 different words that I want to be committed to this year. I thought it would be fun to take some time to explore each of the words and how they are weaving into my life in this season. The first one is creative. The second one is strong. The third one is simple.
The fourth one is QUIET.
adjective – making little or no noise. carried out discreetly, secretly, or with moderation
noun – absence of noise or bustle; silence; calm
verb – make or become silent, calm, or still.
I want to be a quiet person. This is an interesting idea, surely, as I have written before about how important my voice is to me. But, hear me out. (pun intended)
The longer I’m on earth, the more I appreciate quiet. I appreciate early mornings and alone time and evening jogs so much more now than I ever have in life before. There’s something precious and beautiful about quiet.
Maybe I’ve spent too much of my time being loud,
fighting to be heard.
Maybe I’ve spent too many conversations
waiting for my turn to talk.
Maybe I’ve grabbed too many microphones
without considering what other voices needed magnifying.
Maybe I’ve been talked over and
wondered why I wasn’t speaking louder.
Maybe I’ve run over too many people with my words.
Maybe this season is a loving,
ushering-in of this appreciation of new and sacred quiet.
If I’m more deeply honest,
maybe I have run out of things worth saying.
These last few months, I had the chance to be a part, for the second summer in a row, of an incredible group of women who meet together for time away from it all each Monday night. My time with them last summer was beautiful, and this summer surely followed suit. We spent part of our time together not-being-together, but instead spreading out in the picturesque backyard of our hostess’ home, laying on blankets in the grass or dipping our toes in the pool or propping up in a comfy chair, and talking to God, processing, wondering, questioning.
There is something strange that happens here, something I’ve never noticed anywhere else. Here, in Sandy’s backyard, hummingbirds land. They pause a moment from the frenzied flower-to-feeder buzzing, and perch on branches and pool sides and flowery bushes. I’ve seen hummingbirds flit around in every direction outside and around feeders and flowers and trees, at home and at work and at school, but never once before did I ever see one land. Never had I noticed a still hummingbird, nor a quiet one. And there, at Sandy’s house, in this summer full of noise, I remembered the value of stillness, of quiet. I was reminded that even the busiest, fastest little creatures eventually stop to breathe.
And maybe I’m hoping to emulate that in a spirit of resting, of listening, of expectant anticipation, of quiet.
“Silence. It has a sound, a fullness. It’s heavy with sigh of tree, and space between breaths. It’s ripe with pause between birdsong and crash of surf. It’s golden they say. But no one tells us it’s addictive.” (Angela Long)