Silence and Solitude

I have been transfixed by the notion of solitude. Of the magic that unfolds when we pause, near a little creek, and listen: listen to the stillness, the silence that envelops the landscape with its gentle, caressing touch as it, slowly, one by one, lays the most lightest hand on every branch and leaf, on every bone and sinew of the woods—a magic spell that generates from the most profound depths of our souls and quickly spreads out over the skies of stillness like gray clouds progressing in on an overcast day—their arrival mixed with the sweet promise of rainfall.

image source: stronglikewater

And when, at nightfall, a similar silence—perhaps more profound—that escapes to confine the world in a grand abyss of blackness: a blackness, which, is not the absence of color, but rather the absorption of it, that the nostalgia ridden sky of the night desires to keep hoarded to itself and never give away, the awe inspiring wonderment of frozen and empty space.

Though, such silence and stillness is not only limited to the woods and the nighttime; it can found on the eerie summer afternoons in a time when the winter breeze approached fast with silent tread to take over the patches of mild, pleasant sunlight being absorbed into one’s skin at all sorts of strange angles. This warmth that was obscured by the overstanding canopies of fading concrete structures basking in it, and as I reveled in it, over the background commotion of voices standing out, I felt myself slowly slip away from that spot showered with the sun’s light where I stood, to somewhere the only consciousness in the back of my mind was the sensation of that warmth on my skin weathered by the winter.

I had felt that similar warmth when I had stood on a bend in one of the mountain roads shaded by the summit of the mountain thinning in vegetation with the height. The bend on which I stood overlooked a valley of coniferous trees as tall as the giants from fairytales, growing out of the earth of the cold mountain in the uphill direction and there, in that shadowed part of the trees, on that bend around me grew some smaller ones that bore a bright orange hued, spherical wild fruit that the others had stopped to observe. As the summit blocked us from the setting sun’s evaporating warmth, providing the cold wind up there with an opportunity to blow my way in triumph with the discovery that it had found me. It blew around me and around the tall trees above and below me, enveloping my vicinity in its inescapable chill. There had been silence on that part of the mountain, there had been stillness; the wind had chased down my shadow along the mountain path to create a ripple in the stillness of the atmosphere hovering above the valley beneath my feet. The ripple was ephemeral, however, the small ones that were created in the chain reaction of colliding disturbance were retained in my bones somewhat longer.

It was as if the cold wanted me to know that I could only evade it so long as the sunlight did not leave me.


image source: Brainpickings by Maria Popova 


6 thoughts on “Silence and Solitude

  1. Beautifully described :)
    I absolutely enjoyed the read.

    There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
    There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
    There is society, where none intrudes,
    By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
    I love not man the less, but Nature more.
    -George Gordon Byron

    Have a great day!
    Arcane owl

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I too thoroughly enjoyed this post – Thank you for sharing a delightfully written piece. The accompanying pic is excellent and I would like to share these words from William Wordsworth, which came to mind as I read your story:

    One impulse from a vernal wood
    May teach you more of man,
    Of moral evil and of good,
    Than all the sages can.


    Liked by 1 person

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