Mental Health Ministries

Noisy Solitude

Noisy SolitudeI came to get away from the noise of my hectic work life - the ringing of the telephone, the sounds of the computer, the buzz of office business, even the words of those who come to me to talk. And so I carefully planned my “get-away” to a sacred place where I knew I would be renewed by connecting with nature in solitude.

After a day dealing with taxi cabs, canceled and delayed airplane flights, traffic tie-ups and trying to find my way in an unfamiliar town, I finally arrived at my place of refuge...a place I had been before...a place of healing.

I dumped my unpacked luggage in my cabin and made my way to the high-back rocking chair waiting for me on the porch overlooking the lake. I was in desperate need of quiet and solitude. As I closed my eyes to breathe in the fall mountain air, I felt a gust of wind and heard a rushing sound. I opened my eyes to the sight and sound of hundreds of colored leaves, caught in a whirlwind, spinning and turning as they made their way to the soft, carpeted earth below. It was a beautiful sight. Yet, I closed my eyes again...seeking silent solitude.

Soon there was a strange rustle in the mounds of fallen leaves. I opened my eyes to find two squirrels digging in the piles, then scampering up and down the trees with their finds. I smiled inside and closed my eyes again.

Not many minutes passed before my silent solitude was again interrupted...this time by a flock of geese landing on the lake stirring up the calm water. Their grace and beauty caused me to watch them for some time, until, quite unexpectedly, as if answering to an inner call; the flock rose from the water as one and disappeared into the twilight sky.

I didn’t close my eyes again. I watched and listened as other birds went about their business of gathering food. I watched and heard a lizard run under the porch. I watched the trees and heard the wind as it surrounded me with a cool breeze. And I heard, in the distance, a leaf blower machine. I watched and listened to the sounds of the lake water lapping against the shoreline.

I had come to this place with my own agenda...to find rest in quiet solitude. Instead my senses were awakened to life in the now. I was gifted with noise in the solitude. It would take more time sitting in the rocking chair to find the quiet solitude within.