When sharing space with another, do we not tend toward small talk and gossip? Do we turn on the television or radio when we find a quiet moment in our day?
We’ve been filling the silence for so long that often the absence of something to listen to or say fills us with fear. What if, in between our conversations, we just listen to the breathing of another? What if we begin to become intimate with ourselves when we have the chance to be alone – taking the time to unravel our thoughts and listen to what our inner voices are trying to communicate to us?
What if, while driving, we ponder the way our hands turn the steering wheel, or the stories told by the faces of other drivers ~ what if we wonder about the lives of these people and send them silent blessings? Can we do this with the hottest tunes blaring from our radios?
My gift to my young boys – which I sometimes forget I’m giving to them – being so busy giving it to myself – is the Gift Of Silence. No words, no music, no distractions.
When driving in the car, I leave the music off, and I see them looking peacefully around. I see them pondering a book or toy, or happily singing a song to themselves. I seem them wondering about things within and outside of the car. Frequently, I see them relaxed and seemingly completely comfortable just being quiet and looking out. I imagine all that would be lost if we utilized an in-car DVD system.
I realize, that with opportunities filled with calm, children are gathering a most important set of values: the value of just being, without seeking distraction; the necessary knowledge that silence is a virtue – not a signal that something is missing; the comfort of stillness.
When our children come to sit with us, there is an opportunity to look around or to look at nothing, and to listen to their breath. I hope that as our lives increase in busyness and distractions escalate in their urgency to be noticed, I can remember to not always offer small talk and solutions, but to listen and be present.
A most important gift we can give to our children is how to combat commotion from the outside world – using stillness and space; how to seek out stretches of silence and find the value in being comfortable with the intimacy of their own thoughts.
Recently, while driving home and glancing at my children in the backseat, I felt with my whole heart the importance of giving my boys this gift ~ and also of writing this article. Comfort in silence is a simple and easy-to-give gift that will serve them their entire lives. A gift that maybe only a mother and father can give to their children without unnecessary feelings of guilt. A true gift that actually means something and will not be later donated – but hopefully shared.
The Free Cards Winner for last week is Two Little Bluebirds ~ who creates the cutest darn felt crowns ~ her products are constructed from Eco-fi felt which is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Yay! See her work here
image left: Fairy Crown © Two Little Bluebirds
Love & Sincerely, Katie