The old saying goes, “Silence is golden”. The saying reminds us that gold is precious and expensive. Silence seems to be something that can be hard to find in the busy world in which we live, surrounded by noise most of the time.

When the snow fell last week I went out into the garden early in the morning to have a look. My first reaction was to think about just how inconvenient this snowfall would be to my day. Then, as I stood alone I realised that the snow seemed to be deadening sounds that I expected to hear and there was silence. I stood admiring the beautiful view of the hills covered in white and thought for one moment that there was something wrong with my hearing. It took me a minute to realise that it wasn’t my hearing at all, it was that it was silent. At that moment, silence really was golden. In the hushed early morning my mind could wander without interruption, I could truly lose myself in the peace and the tranquillity of my garden, unhindered by noise.

It was a precious moment where I felt ‘unplugged’ from the world, enjoying the new landscape that the snow had made. Times of silence are a precious commodity in a world that seems to have devalued our human need for peace and quiet.

Making time to be silent can allow us to reconnect with the natural world and to reconnect with God. A Franciscan Brother wrote a piece this week on silence which seems to sum up our need to make some time to ‘unplug’ ourselves from our busy lives and to enjoy some time in silence. He wrote,

“Why Silence?

I sit in silence.

I sit in silence to start my day.

I sit in silence to open to God.

I sit in silence to be healed by God.

I sit in silence to pray in me.

I sit in silence to be transformed by God.

I sit in silence because I love God.

I sit in silence”.

I have made a resolution to spend a bit more time in silence in order to be able to listen to God and to be open to his transformative power in my life. Thanks to a bit of snowfall I have realised that silence really is golden.