Sipping Silence

An early morning kitchen can be a cozy nest.  Baked apples and bread pudding, from last night’s dessert, leave droplets of delight on every air molecule. But, shining plates and silverware, fresh from the dishwasher, show no signs of last night’s shared meal.

Centuries of women cooking and feeding others walk with me as I travel from stove to sink to fridge on that sacred triangle. Memories of breakfasts I’ve offered to children and grandchildren crisscross my mind as first I heat the oatmeal and place the hardboiled eggs in a bowl on the counter.

These offerings made on a Sunday morning, our last retreat day in Saugatuck, are like the blessings offered by Father Cory in his nearby sanctuary. Feeling like a priestess of roasted potatoes and quiche, I wait for my parishioners to arrive so I might bless them. By this simple act I will nurture both their bodies and souls.

We arrived here on Thursday and now have spent sustains period in silence. Often when we first encounter it there is trepidation. Fear. Resistance. All that quiet, what might be waiting there? What will we discovered that we do not want to know? Then we find our place and settle into stillness.  Yes, some of the time we are stirred up but this grand silence shows us that there is room for all we encounter. Everything has a place. So eventually we drop in.
The more we explore this inner sanctuary the more textured silence becomes. This is what I have discovered:
Sweet Silence, all pretense drops away, no posing, no need to please, just you and me here in this room. Strange, but our closeness is even more evident as together we sit in silence.

Holy Silence, filled with life, this is where I wish to live. Silence with intention and without distraction is the breeding ground of true wisdom. In quiet I find myself.

Shared Silence, is more profound than solo silence. Intentions held by more than one person have a weight that isn’t there when I enter alone. Something bigger than two individual souls occurs. We join countless pilgrims who have made their own journey to sacred center.

It’s actually a daring act to slow down and drop into what waits under our busy lives. That is what often stops us.  We are not sure how our lives might change if we take a few minutes each day to sip silence. Might we see that the core of our being has been neglected? Sometimes it’s only by stopping that we discover how disconnect we are. Yet, if we settle in we can find solace and then the Mystery permeating all of life enfolds us.

It is palpable.

It waits for each of us.


Photo from the garden at the corner of Mason and Butler, taken Saturday morning after silent yoga class.