God must have asked the forest to prepare for its occasional visitor
Like silence before symphony, no birds sang, no branches whisper
Sunbeams slivered through dense boughs to kiss the awaking day
Cool moist air floated gracefully as if practiced from warming rays

Senses heightened from times before, my mind freed to explore
Despite the trail unknown, my feet found rhythm, my footing sure
My soul felt peace, it knew home, I reached to join it in this quest
The miles went by, time moved on, silence grew louder, not less

Divinity stirred, deep mellow sound invited, a gurgling grumble
A distance from the trail, the sound echoed to thundering rumble
Courage came, it overwhelmed, no choice but to change my course
Nothing else seem to matter; to seek this sound, to see the source

With ears on fire, body vectored towards this sparkling jewel
A spring trickled in maze of stones, then rested in a little pool
I knelt down to see it close and found myself instead in prayer
Gods hands were clearly here, I thanked Him for putting it there

As I rose to go back home, instead I knew the journey just begun
For the trickle called to follow stones, follow the still rising sun
I gently walked from rock to rock, to not disturb still dewed moss
It grew to stream from steeping ground, to one side I had to cross

The spirit led, my ready guide, trust built to seek what lay below
A brook came alive to my left, to join further down in crescendo
At first I thought: go to it, but my guide held me tight to stream
Along I walked towards this union’s treasure, so it would seem

When I arrived at that merge, disappointment hit me un-expectantly
For collected among the rocks, a little dark foam, made humanly
I knew at once it was soap and phosphorus from something washed
from far upstream, far beyond, emotions churned, I was at a loss

Thoughts rained in from all direction, one rose to loose itself free
Sweet tears from ground corrupted, stripped from precious glory
I reached down with palm to lift the foam, flashing back to youth
where rivers changed from clear to daily colors of paper’s hue

I knelt again in lowly humility, like Abraham, pleading for my sins
Rivers cleaned by a determined few, now hold precious life within
Truly God you can see how far we’ve come, we worked to fix wrong
Now many focus on this mighty task, preserving where we belong

My soul felt light, a smile came, I sensed the warmth of His reality
I stood, then floated back towards the trail, sure for all humanity
Forest sprang alive with sounds of life, sounds of love all around
Perhaps the silence never there, but clearly truth was in the sound

I stepped out of my car about to go on a hike on an unfamiliar trail in Maine. I could not believe it but everything was totally silent.  It was like I was deaf only to it.  I heard the car door shut and the crunch of the sand under my boots and everything I touched, but nothing outside of what I created.  As I walked, I started hearing something in the distance that at first did not make sense. I realized of course I was supposed to go to it.  When I got there, I thought I was done by simply thanking God for the life giving water He gives us.  Then there was a curve ball; I was not done, I had to follow this trickle down without deviating from its course. What a lesson that was, so often I go off course because I do not pay attention to the subtleness of the moment. This time it was quite clear where I had to go, towards the new sound I heard.

When I got to the place where these two little brooks came together I was stunned. I was literally at least 2 miles from the closest house but here was a small puff of suds from detergent.  All of a sudden, I thought back to my youth living next to the ever-changing color of the river near my house from the paper mill. But luckily I also thought about all the good we as humans have started to do. I pleaded my case and all of sudden felt relief and was able to finally go home.  As I did, it seemed the forest was screaming with sounds of life all around me.

For further reflection prayers of Blessed Mother Theresa –  God is the Friend of Silence