With the distraction of school, two jobs, and a social life, I find that it is easy to forget to take quiet moments and reflect. I have found that my hectic schedule has held me back from my goals. Don’t get me wrong. Most of my responsibilities will help me in my future career or family, but there are just too many. The problem lies in the time they take from my day. I’ve found that I will go whole days running from one appointment to another without a breath. I fall in my bed, exhausted mentally and physically and wake up the next day running again. I have forgotten the importance of silence.
I have forgotten the importance of silence.
I discovered this at my family’s annual reunion in Salmon-Challis National Forest. I grabbed my pack filled with my tent, sleeping bag, hammock (absolutely essential obviously), and other supplies and headed to the campsite. When I arrived, the campsite was circled by campers teeming with family members. One tent lay nestled in the trees across the field. I joined in its seclusion and set up camp in the trees, away from the noise of the camper’s generators. After a fun night of talking with my extended family, I fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow.
I woke up early in the morning to the best noise.
With everyone else asleep, it was silent except for nature. Birds chirped and the wind moving through the trees. Stepping out of my tent, I saw the sun cresting over the mountain and lighting the field. I was far enough away from the campers to avoid the hum of the generators. As I strolled to a spring close to the camp and made my way along the trail, taking pictures I was aware of the crunch of my shoes on the dirt.
In this hour before the camp awoke, I remembered why I love camping. I love that in those moments of silence when the hectic world is still sleeping, I can finally think clearly. I don’t worry about my responsibilities, only the beauty of nature around me.
Life can get complicated. Really complicated. We pile on responsibilities in the effort to be “productive”. We may be checking things off a list, but it isn’t the point of life to run until we can’t run anymore. The whole point is to live in the moment, take advantage of the beauty around us, and enjoy this experience. We were never meant to replace that purpose with busyness.
Have you forgotten the beauty of silence?
Take this week to rediscover silence. Take a written inventory of your life at this moment. What are your responsibilities and goal? What seems to be taking over your life right now? Are you giving your priorities that attention they need or are you filling up with unimportant and time-consuming tasks?