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Companionable Silence

Pearls of Peace

Silence is golden I heard growing up. I also remember my mother reminding me that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. I am told I was a voracious talker and would strike up a conversation with whoever that would care to listen. In the pre-device driven era, conversations with others were not just a necessity to be endured but also a means of entertainment.

Comfort with silence has not been my strength. I am learning the power of quiet and its benefits. Personal time for pondering is lost in the early years of parenting. I realize it takes its toll on personal sanity. Contemplation is a basic human need.

While words are powerful and impactful when used right, silence has a lot of merit on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

Appreciation of silence is an acquired skill, since from the time one starts talking; the increasing power or words start unfolding. Parents wait for the first words from a child’s mouth. Communication between a child and a parent creates the foundation that builds lasting relationships.

As a parent to a sophomore in college and a fourth grader, I cherish my communication with my girls. It is a very important part of my life. I also enjoy my talks with my mother. Her pearls of wisdom in the various spheres of my life have been a lifeline. I doubt I could have overcome the struggles in my life without those wise comforting words that ranged from soft to stern and from endearing to empowering. I am eternally grateful for those rich exchanges.

Yet, despite the numerous pluses of rich verbal communication that I have enjoyed over the four decades of my life, in the past few months, I have increasingly begun seeking silence. I think I know what has prompted this urge.

My fourth grader talks a lot-tells and questions. She wants to tell me about the changing dynamics of her friendships on a daily basis, her day in school, her thoughts on pollution, presidency, peers and anything that she takes fancy about on a particular day or sometimes even at a specific hour. I did not want to appear distracted when she talks, but since my patience of listening to the reasoning behind global vehicular crisis from a nine year old has its limits, I thought of giving us both a break.

While I love listening to her chatter and thanking that I am a loving and secure presence in her life with whom she can share a lot, sometimes her blabbering gets too much.

When I started dreaming on her enlightened views on reducing global population, I thought it is time to teach her about quiet time. I think it is benefiting us both. She is learning to engage in many other activities and I am getting time to ponder, pray and practice peace. This quiet time is a gift that I treasure. I can actually start a book and finish it!

The need for formal introduction and persistent implementation of some peaceful moments came to my household after years of just going with the flow of raising children.

This new quietude in my home is godsend. I think I am reclaiming my lost adulthood while raising children.

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