We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls. ~Mother Teresa
Since it’s Friday, and my days have been filled with a lot of heavy, I wanted to step back and reflect. Today, I awoke in the early morning hours to find another dusting of snow blanketing the world outside. Gazing out the window, trying to wipe the sleep from my eyes, I was instantly warmed with nostalgic memories and a serene feeling. All from watching the snow sit still among the darkness? Absolutely!
It’s funny, just the other day, dad commented that he loved the late evenings, in the middle of winter, when everything is covered in snow and is at rest. I’m paraphrasing for he probably said something along the lines of, “I always liked this.” But I knew exactly what he meant. He’s right, that time of day is the best! Ever since I was a youngster, I’ve always held an affinity for those qualities to grace me with their presence. That’s one of my favorites during hunting season, the dark hours, snow hiding all details of nature, and the silence that seems to accompany that exact moment. I love it!
Last week, while I was trimming the blueberry bushes and the grape vines at mom and dad’s house, I let the dogs run around in the snow (mom and dad live in the country). With the frigid days, our four-legged pals were suffering horribly from cabin fever, and I knew they needed to stretch their legs. It was in the twenties, with little to no windchill, the sun was brightly shining overhead, and the yard had a healthy dose of snow. All perfect conditions for playtime.
Well, naturally, I got involved in my work and unbeknownst to me, all three dogs made their escape, and decided to go on a walk about. I never know if I should be insulted when they make plans without me, or happy because they’re getting exercise, but regardless, they made a break for it. When the boys and Avery pull this stunt without adult supervision, there’s a 50/50 chance it will end well. Although, on a good note, my cat, Storm, a.k.a. Lady Fluffington, had a blast running around the snow and climbing up on the grape arbor without the dogs chasing her around. Luckily, we had the tracker on Avery, but it soon died and lost connection with our delinquents.
Anyway, after some time, I layered up and headed out to follow their tracks before it got dark. Just as I approached the middle of the woods, a few miles out, I received a call from dad saying the hounds were back. What? It was now getting really dark and I knew dad had the fireplace blazing for them, yet, here I was stuck hiking through snow, in the middle of nowhere, while everyone warmed up and relaxed! Did I mention, there were a ton of coyote tracks all around me, and in the distance I saw a fresh deer hide ripped to shreds? Kinda scary, only because I didn’t have my pistol and my phone was ready to die, but then again I really didn’t care.
To be honest, I didn’t mind being in the woods, or even being in the woods with darkness hot on my heels. Actually, it was a relaxing point in time, a moment of not worrying, for the dogs were safe, Kyle was accounted for, and I didn’t need to be anywhere, or do anything at that particular juncture. My mind wasn’t racing and I wasn’t in a hurry. In fact, I was were I needed to be at that point in time. It was hovering in a state of simple silence and peace. When was the last time you felt that? God took a potentially bad situation, and blessed me with the complete opposite.
Did I care it was now dark among the trees? No, actually I didn’t. When I was little, Ryan, our cousins, some of our friends and myself (Nicole would sometimes make her appearance), would run through the woods all night long, mostly during the summer months and sometimes on the weekends in autumn, especially during Halloween. We’d either play war and corn each other, explore and go on adventures, or simply scare each other. It was our childhood, and the woods were our playground.
While walking back, the only sounds I heard was the soft crunching of snow under my feet, and the slight wind blowing past me, rustling loose branches and causing the treetops to clap. The moonlight reflected just enough light from the snow to guide my way. Everyone once in a while, I’d stop to take it all in, all the benevolence of nature. I’d like to think Ryan was walking with me, for he too loved the woods and winter time.
Always try to look on the good side of any situation, for God always reveals a gem of delight found in silence among the noise and chaos. Happy Friday!