In the Shadow of the Mountains

Roadway in autumn forest

I rose this morning, the floor cold to my bare feet.
Golden daylight falls through the barren branches of the stand of white birch trees.
As I stare through the stand of trees, I see the silhouette of one of the Adirondack ranges standing majestically.

Hot black coffee.
Alone with my thoughts,
As I stare out the window.

Things are simpler here.
I can just be…
There is no judgment, no expectations, no goals,
No fears.

There is no one to please, no one to help.
The quiet solitude of leaves as they dance on the breeze.


The gift of solitude wrapped in silence.

I stopped in front of the sign which says “Entering Adirondack Park.” I grow quiet as the entrance to the park approaches. My thoughts turn to happy times spent in the solitude offered by the park.

Some do not understand my quiet. They also do not understand my desire, my need for the solitude of which I speak. It is not for them to understand. This is my gift and I will cherish it. This same gift is available to all who choose to acknowledge, to be mindful of its presence.

After a meal and a pot of coffee, I dressed and went for a walk. Several cars sped down the road, their tires kicking up clouds of salt dust. I waited several minutes and anticipated the silence that would follow the absence of cars. Then it arrived. Silence in this part of the world is overwhelming, almost deafening. My ears strained to hear something, yet there was no sound.

My thoughts turned to the violent world in which we live. Our ears are assaulted everyday by a multitude of sounds. Sounds we hear and take for granted everyday. I find it interesting to think about the number of sounds we hear everyday. It is difficult to think of a life without sound. It is equally difficult to try and imagine identifying each of those sounds.

Try it. If you don’t have the ability to get away from sound, turn off the tv, telephone and radio. Retreat to a room where you can be insulated from as much ambient sound as possible. It is an amazing, almost frightening sensation. Our thoughts begin to race and we become overwhelmed with fear because we are not accustomed to the sound of silence. Sit with this silence for a period of time. Be mindful of the way you begin to feel as you become increasingly relaxed.

If you listen to the silence, you will also allow yourself to accept the gift of solitude.