Monday, January 12, 2009

The peace and quiet of January

I really enjoyed this post at Commonweeder about the January as a month of quiet after the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. I hope Pat Leuchtman doesn't mind me quoting her because I loved what she wrote:

Even the sun is silent. No longer does it come up like thunder. Its light seeps into the day, pale as pearls.

Such deep silence is hard to ignore. I avoid turning to the sounds of the modern world, radios, TVs, records. The news, such as it is, commentary, chatter, even music, can all wait for awhile. I need to fill my ears with silence, and let it penetrate blood and bone. Noise is exhausting and I need to rest. Just for a while.

I don't wish for endless silence. I wish for balance and rhythm. All music includes rests. A silent beat. Without silence you can't hear the melody or harmony. You can't appreciate the beauty of the song.

I love the song of life, the bass line of my own true love, the trilling of the children, the adagio of friends, the timpani of joy, even the beat beat beat of routine, all building to the crescendo of December.
But then rest.
Pat's words about keeping the noisy media at bay resonated with me. A few years ago, the CBC (for you Americans: the Canadian Broadcasting Corp is public radio, without commercials) had a strike, and so we stopped listening for a few weeks. What we discovered was that we felt better not listening to the news. We found that we had much less aggravation in our lives that way. You know how you feel when you hear George Bush talking. Well, who needs that?

At the time, we had already given up watching news on TV. Then a year and a half ago, we gave up TV entirely too. This doesn't mean we're hiding our heads in the sand, but we have a level of peace and calm that just isn't possible with radio and TV blaring bad news and commercials.

Of course, we listen to music, catch up on the goings-on at youtube, and get the newspapers (both on paper and online), so we're only too well aware of what's going on in the world.

I like this hoary joke that my husband sometimes tells: One of those wandering preachers came up to a farm house one afternoon, and said to the farmer: "Don't you know that Christ died for your sins?" The farmer responded: "Well, ya know, we're pretty far from the road."

Amen. We live far from the road too, and we like it that way.

© Yvonne Cunnington, Country Gardener


  1. For me that silence is few and far between...espically with those guinea fowl! But every now and again I find it and it is good.
    Thanks for reminding me to seek it out now and again Yvonne.

  2. Just looked at Commonweeder's blog - thank you for referring to her.
    Never thought about it, but it is true, January is a quiet month. Maybe that's why I always felt that it was such a long month.
    Love the fact that you don't watch TV......something to think about.
    Right now the snow is coming down thick to further the silence.

  3. Hi Salix and Eve: Nice to hear from you again. Actually, we don't miss TV in the least. We still have our set, so we can watch DVDs, but we find we hardly do that either. In summer it’s too nice out, and in winter I'm so busy updating and adding to my website that I rarely think about popping in a DVD. I admit to spending most of my time on the computer, and that's where you'll find me, if I’m not out with my dogs (on snowshoes these days). Internet publishing, digital photography and keeping up with far-flung friends are my three big reasons for that.


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-Yvonne, aka Country Gardener