Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Winter's Morning Silence...the virtues of a foggy day

Winter's silence enveloping the marsh side waters of our cottage...
Walking out to the dock, my footsteps were the "sound" this morning...

A foggy, quiet day can be calming, contemplative and oh so pretty...

There are many things James and I enjoy and truly appreciate with being here in the South Carolina Lowcountry with both living out on a tiny barrier island sparsely populated and also having an in-town cottage facing out towards a marsh waterway...access to nature is one thing, privacy and yet also having great neighbors nearby is another and silence, ah silence, is very much to me another cherish attribute to the life we're living right now.

Many days and nights are wondrously silent barring the chirps, rustling and rambling of "nature's goings on" from time to time and the usual exuberant spring chorus of our tree frog population which makes itself loudly, but comically, known for a few weeks when the weather turns warmer.

However, the days and nights when a blanket of misty fog rolls itself down onto our waters as well as the marsh side and woods surrounding us.....ah, that's when I enjoy silence the most!

This morning has been one of those cherished calmed, stilled, silenced times I've basked within.

After a very early morning's work with inventory going on at the store, I returned to the cottage here and walked out to the dock in order to bask in the foggy-silence awhile.

Many writers and poets have written some prose, poetry and pithy statements regarding silence that I'd like to share with you along with these pictures taken of my quiet morning earlier today:

From Paula Huston's fascinating book, The Holy Way- Practices for a simple life, "...I had to learn how to seek out and refresh myself in the pools of silence that lay hidden along the pathway of my noisy daily round."

And Madeleine L'Engle writes that, "...when I went on my first retreat I slipped into silence as though into the cool waters of the sea. We need both for our full development; the joy of the sense of sound; and the equally great joy of its absence."

Here's some food for quiet thought: "When we make room for silence we make room for ourselves...Silence invites the unknown, the untamed, the wild, the shy, the unfathomable - that which rarely has the chance to surface within us." - Gunilla Norris

And for the more practical, prudent minded..."Right speech comes out of silence." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

And of course, poetry alludes to silence in its own quieted, white-noise, negative space kind of way:

This evening stillness...
Just the ruined cowbell
Found by the pasture gate. - Jewell

How quiet-
At the bottom of the lake
peaks of clouds. -Issa

The winter storm
Hides in the bamboo
And becomes silent. - Basho

on a post
near the edge of a brook
a crow
utterly still
in the stillness of high noon - Mori Ogai

There is a beautiful mystery within fog, snowfall, rain and other times and events which "still" us to some degree in the midst of our busy and oh so noisy lives. I like this quote from Albert Einstein which points out that, "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious."

Those are my non-silent-now thoughts about silence and a morning spent enjoying the fog set out within the marsh waters by the cottage. Maybe you haven't been sitting out within the damp fog surrounding your dock, maybe you're enjoying time by a fireplace or a window as the snow falls, rain drops or maybe you're "stuck" somehow in some way having to still-yourself...however your silence comes, I hope that to some degree, you can happily dwell within it for awhile....


  1. This was such a beautiful post...ahhh...feel like I took a little voyage somewhere and the pictures were just perfect to go with the mood. Must be wonderful with the fog and snowfall, the quiet and peace. Sometimes its not so bad afterall!

  2. Thanks so much- so glad to hear that this post was a wonderful reading-retreat! That was my overall intention for the post and it's wonderful to find out that indeed, it resonnated with a reader that way, yea! :)

    All the best to you and I hope that your house is going going to hop over to your blog in just a second... best, Lachlan

  3. Just love fog over the marsh...

  4. Thanks bevy :) and me's so peaceful isn't it?

    Today was sunny and warmish so I'm so glad that I went ahead and took that walk, those pictures while the fog lasted.

    Best to you, Lachlan