There are days when I’m alone at home and feel a pull to get out of the home- not in order to find something to do, but to find silence. That may seem strange considering I was at home already and could choose to be quiet if I wanted. There is a difference in the silence I was seeking.
When at home, I feel restless. There is a lot I could be doing and I’d like to get it all done, and, yet, I’d prefer to sit quietly and reflect on everything that’s going on, or not going on. Sitting still isn’t enough for me. I sit quietly in my chair, but feel drawn to do something, anything. It could be reading, scrolling through the social media feeds to see if Trump has started WWIII, or checking the TV for sports. It’s a constant battle between my mind not wanting to do anything and my body wanting to use its senses in order to be doing something.
My only true escape is the hills surrounding Kelowna. Up I climb, sometimes with ear buds in, other times without. The trails I climb on are hardly busy, a scatter of people spread over the two hours I’m out there. Today, there were two couples, and three people on horses. A busy day on Myra-Bellevue.
Hiking in the spring offers a few pleasant surprises for me to enjoy. The higher I climb, the more signs of the spring run off I find. While the trail was full of mud and snow a few weeks ago, now it’s little streams of water running down the trails and hillsides. Waterbeds that were dry then have water cascading down them in a loud rush.
Silence this is not.
Around the bend of another hill, I come across what I am looking for. A large pond surrounded by steep rock faces and tall weeds growing along the shoreline. The pond is also larger than it was a few weeks ago, with the ice melting and water flowing out across a flat field. A little more clinching up another trail and then across the hillside, I find my perch. A large, white rock overlooking the pond. Hidden away from the other trails, I can hear people walking if they’re loud, but they can’t see me. It’s perfect.
I sit here, taking it all in. Sunshine dancing in and out from behind the clouds, frogs croaking and having the sounds bounce off the rocks to sound much louder than they are. Birds alternate between standing on logs in the water and swimming to another log. Every now and then, another bird flies in from the skies to land in the water with a loud swoosh. If I watch for them, I can see marmots running over the hills and disappearing just as fast. Apart from the squawks from the birds, this pond is as quiet as can be.
And here I sit, on my white rock, with my phone showing no signal- no escape from this silence except my own mind- writing until I feel the pull to return home.
To a different kind of silence once again.