Wednesday, July 28, 2010
A number of years ago I attended a weekend retreat for women. On the first night, after supper, we were told that we would all spend the evening and the night in silence. I had never done anything like that, but I was intrigued.
Then a few years ago, I offered two retreats for women, and both of them included periods of silence. Every woman who attended said those times were easier than she'd expected them to be. They also agreed that the silence was gentle and strong and almost tangible. Women wrote and sat together, sewed, walked.
The silence surrounded and filled us, and it soon became like a wonderful friend whose presence is welcome and comforting. I encourage you to find ways to take part in communal silence, even for just an evening or a day. You may be surprised at what you find there.
During the last afternoon, I wrote the following poem to express how the silence and the weekend felt to me.
Silence settles around us – a shawl,
surrounding us with such substance,
i am almost surprised i can’t see it.
Impossibly silken fog becomes the air we breathe,
and within which we grow --
heal and rest.
Souls planted firmly on the ground,
arms reach for wind and rain and sun.
Silence settles within us…
To find our Selves.
Each lowered i rises,
We descend into silence