The hour before sunset is my favorite time of day. This is when I feel a pull to drive to the Cape beach or plant myself on the sidewalk outside our front door. There I sit with five cats lounging beside me, all of us silent. The sky is filled with hues of yellow, pink, orange, and blue. Palm trees wave in the wind. A dove coos. I am grateful. I find that silence heals me from the clutter of life.
There is an extraordinary need in our lives for silence. The constant noise and chatter, internal and external, causes us to lose touch with the center of our being. When that happens, we become caught in all kinds of unimportant things. We suffer from this noise. Many of us even cling to this pollution of noise because it drowns out painful hungers inside. There is an old contemplative saying: “If you cannot improve the silence, do not speak.”