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Sounds of silence

Posted on July 17, 2014 by Sunny South News

I grew up the last of five girls and quite a bit younger than the fourth one.

I lived in an area of Montreal where the girls in the neighbourhood went to a private girls’ school.  I went to the public school down the hill.

So I had few friends and spent hours playing alone.  This was great for my imagination and I came to appreciate the background of silence upon which the stories in my head came to life. Perhaps this is why I was attracted to nature.

After the noise of the big city, it was so nice to walk in the forest and hear only the rustle of maple leaves and the occasional Chickadee.

I felt close to something loving and safe. There was a comforting presence in silence.

I was too young to pursue my own serious concept of God but later in life I found a good quote that explained why the silence of nature fed my spirit, while the noise and mayhem of city life sucked it dry.

“See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…we need silence to be able to touch souls,” said Mother Teresa.

After a long day at work, surrounded by loud machines or constant conversation, some people get home and treat themselves to a little sensory deprivation.

You’ve heard the expression, “There’s so much noise I can’t hear myself think.”

Silence is our meeting place with thoughts. Like dreams at night, thinking in silence filters out what we need to understand. Silence is like a think tank for those of us who are easily distracted by noises.

Noise pollution is rampant on this earth, like light pollution. At the cabin there is a lot of silence at night. Sometimes we hear the Snipe doing its whirring courtship flight or perhaps there is only the sound of Aspen leaves gently tapping each other.

When the breeze blows gently from the east, we can hear a motorboat on Police Lake or another RV pulling into the park.

Usually, it is silence that meets the trillion stars in the clear sky above us. No light or noise pollution.  Bathing in nature’s silence, I feel like I’ve already died and gone to heaven.

I feel such a reverence and joy for life at times like this. Now all that peace is threatened by a proposed development not far from our cabin.

The construction of a very large and busy commercial “retreat” operation, including a 150 RV park, cabins and campground, threatens the sounds of silence.

A few hundred people could be staying at the development only a half-mile away. How do you keep that many people quiet?

I suppose I could pray for wind from the west every day. Noise is a collection of sound frequencies. It’s funny to think silence, or non-existent sound frequencies, can be “taken” and replaced by truck and car traffic noise all day, as well as shrieks of kids on waterslides or yells from spectators at the soccer field they intend to build.

Is it any surprise the community is in an uproar? I have a lot to lose, including my sanity, so I will join this rural fight for the preservation of agricultural land, clean water, wildlife, dark skies, and the sounds of silence.

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