Today’s Word: ‘silence’ as in… it really is golden.

I did an early morning workout today at a neighborhood park. I  had the place to myself. Halfway through my workout I heard a Blue Jay announce its presence. It was so sudden and beautiful that I realized how silent the previous minutes had been.

Gordon Hempton, the founder of One Square Inch once said, “Silence is not the absence of something, but the presence of everything.”

He should know.

Hempton has discovered deep within the Hoh Rain Forest of Olympic National Park what is quite possibly the quietest square inch on the planet. It’s one of the most pristine, untouched, and ecologically diverse environments in the United States and believes that if nothing is done to preserve and protect this quiet place from human noise intrusions, natural quiet may be non-existent in our world in the next decade.

Silence is a part of our human nature which can no longer be heard by most people. Just close your eyes right now and listen for only a few seconds to your surroundings and you’ll hear the lack of true silence. Refrigerators, lawn mowers, airplanes are just some of the things that have become part of the ambient sound and prevent us from listening to the natural sounds around us. It is our birthright to listen, quietly and undisturbed, to the natural environment and take whatever meanings we may from it.

By listening to natural silence, we feel connected to the land, to our evolutionary past, and to ourselves. One Square Inch of Silence is in danger, unprotected by policies of the National Park Service, or supported by adequate laws. Hempton’s hope is that by listening to natural silence, it will help people to become true listeners to our environment, and help us protect one of the most important and endangered resources on the planet, silence.

At some point today find as quiet a setting as you can. Let the stillness, the silence of the moment create a space where the Spirit can reverberate in you.

Be ready for what you discover.


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