Roaring Silence

I stand on a narrow basalt saddle far above an unnamed moraine lake overshadowed by the craggy slopes of Broken Top. My view toward the Three Sisters volcanoes is totally unobstructed. Vast space swallows me and I am totally exposed to the elements, vulnerable to their changeable moods. My mind free falls into a quality of awareness penetrated by a strangely familiar silence—spacious, ungraspable, wild, and unpredictable.

In nature, this silence is everywhere. It is revealed in a tree as it sways and yields to a breeze. It is in the dance of a falling leaf floating upon unseen currents. Silence is between the droplets of a cascading waterfall. It greets the dawn and witnesses the setting sun. Silence twists in a whirlwind and abides in the space between lightning and thunderclap.

Now, the wind strengthens and stings my senses. It gusts strongly, abates, re-gathers, howls, and whispers. Inside these wild rhythms is a curious quiescence, something stable and quiet amidst the buffeting currents. This same wind blows through the peaks and valleys of my life; sometimes a gale, sometimes barely a breath. Yet, I sense an inner silence that remains unaffected.

If we can get past the noise in our minds long enough to listen, we merge with nature’s silence. We experience life changes and challenges like wind-whipped ripples on a lake. We are not carried away by thoughts and emotions because there will always be another ripple while, below the surface, the lake is undisturbed. When we settle down, we may notice the undisturbed quiet of our mind is the same as the mind of nature.

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