Silence and stillness

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Last night, an owl
in the blue dark
tossed
an indeterminate number
of carefully shaped sounds into
the world, in which, 
a quarter of a mile away, I happened
to be standing …

Mary Oliver
from Snowy Night

There’s been a hushed stillness here today. My morning walk gave way to a post-thaw amble after dark. I’ve been pondering the ‘power’ of a perfectly symmetrical snowflake * which, in company with millions of others like it, can quieten wide spaces and bring about a stillness that nothing else can. Ordinary human activity is disrupted and it’s not without reason, I think, that we’re sometimes awestruck by the sound of silence (and occasional hooting) that accompanies falling snow. Thoughts give way to quietened wonder … and – as Mary Oliver goes on to ask …

aren’t there moments
that are better than knowing something,
and sweeter? 


* see ‘Symmetry of Snowflakes’ by Ian Stewart, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and Digital Media Fellow, Faculty of Science in the University of Warwick

4 thoughts on “Silence and stillness

  1. I know that ‘hushed stillness’ of which you speak, Simon. Some of my most treasured walks have been down a lane right after a heavy snow. The world is wrapped in a blanket, all is silent except for the squeak of shoe against flake, and the light dances across the landscape, bouncing off the millions of tiny facets that comprise the snow. Absolutely breathtaking….❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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