There are not many times where silence is completely accepted in our society. We are people conditioned for constant movement and busy-work, for fast-paced progressions forward. While in certain situations this work is needed and vital, we also need to rest in the contemplative silence of reflection. This is not something many people tend to like, however.
Parents fear quiet car rides with their children, teachers dislike a silent lack of participation in their classrooms, and dinner hosts work to prevent the uncomfortable absence of conversation among their party guests.
Unsurprisingly, I think, I don’t mind silence. It is in this state that I choose to spend much of my time through a combination of still-lingering shyness and always-present, college-induced sleepiness. I like to settle into new spaces and new people and observe without impacting those things with my input until I have familiarized my words with the life of the place or the relationship.
As such, I suppose it makes sense that I love this time of the year, the week in-between festivities, when the hype of celebrating has, to a certain extent, died down. It is the comfortable silence after a meal shared in love, when everyone is too filled with food and happiness to be concerned with conversation.
It is the reflective space in which we remember what we care about and what matters in the busy times, where we can see the reality of what we find important.
It is here that I see the love of my family more clearly, the love that I sometimes cannot see as fully due to the cloudy nature of the daily immediacy of life.
It is here that I let myself feel the full reality of missing loved ones. In the busyness of celebrating, we may push aside the emotions that spring up during the holidays, the moments that remind us of the people we love that are not there anymore. We must embrace these memories, no matter how heart-breaking, that let us feel love beyond time-constraints.
It is here, the morning after a daily filled with hugs and love and well-wishing texts from friends far away that I can let the emotions behind those acts sink in further.
I am blessed–even, dare I say it, #blessed.
In this silence we can come to the full reality of who and what we care about and who cares about us.
The silence of the present is worth so much more than the stress and busyness off the Next Great Thing to Be Worried About. Embrace it.