Anyone out there find themselves craving quiet as often as I do?
Because I crave it a lot.
A heavy, tangible, soothing, all-inclusive quiet where it blankets all the noise that agitates and distracts.
Due to my disorder, sometimes the crush of the day with all its activities and decisions and thoughts heighten my sensitivity to the noise in my head AND the noise outside my head.
Noise, the wrong kind of noise, can actually trigger my dysthymia so I try to find ways to seek a little calm and quiet everyday.
So the other day, after a hard week mood-wise, I was craving some quiet. And I found it, not by staying huddled at home, withdrawn and inactive. But by venturing out, loading up gear, and being on a mission.
For some peace and quiet? Yes. I turned my craving into a mission.
Sometimes I forget I can do that. Go seeking the quiet, instead of wishing it would come to me.
The husband agreed to take me over to one of my favorite trails. I packed my camera, gear, and tripod, my favorite sneakers that never leak, and we headed for a trail heavy with streams and trees and rocky paths covered in fall leaves.
I took a deep breath and inhaled the quiet that was waiting.
And I worked.
And there was rest in the work. Standing in the creek bed, photographing leaves in tiny streaming waterfalls, hearing a better noise, one of water tricking and leaves falling and people walking through leaves on the trail above me, I tasted quiet.
Just me, calculating exposures, playing with time, pressing the shutter on the Nikon, and the quiet in my head allowed me to absorb God’s miracle creation.
The quiet I craved was there in the autumn colour and scents. I became aware of how His hand ever so quietly takes riotous colour and growth from our summers, and inch by quiet inch transforms it to gold and rust and earthy browns that dress paths and lawns and dirt. Nature comes to a standstill for a little while. Nature being invited to be quiet. To rest. To refuel for a season.
“Lord, I get it. It’s natural to crave the quiet. And we should never be ashamed of how much we need it. When my disorder shouts for everything to stop, it’s doing what I’ve naturally tried to override, to go, go, go. To stop for nothing. To be invincible.”
And yet, the mightiest tree drops everything for a season, and stops. Rests. Builds up new desire for the coming spring. There’s never one without the other… growth, then quiet.
Quiet, then growth. It’s its own kind of work, at work.
Lord, I pray you work on me the same way.
While the camera worked, while the quiet worked, I prayed. Meditated. Absorbed. His quiet Presence filled anxious, restless, striving parts of me that were craving the opposite. I stayed there in that Presence for a couple of hours. And I felt I could go back to my day.
Back at home, I realised something. If not for the noisy bustle of life, I wouldn’t have known I needed quiet to begin with. It’s okay to let the noise of the day, and all its problems and needs, drive you to the quiet places where you drink in His Presence. It reminds me that some days I have to really need His peace before I’ll desire His peace. It’s the low chronic D days that are a solid reminder that I was never made to go this alone, as a whirlwind, without ceasing.
When we crave quiet, we’re really craving Him.
So are you craving quiet?
It’s not unusual or unnatural.
C.S. Lewis once wrote;
“We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.”
And scripture would concur.
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.
Meditation on Him. True friendship and fellowship with Him.
And rest, quiet, found in Him.
Whether it’s out on a trail. Whether it’s in the laundry room. Out on the golf course, at the mall, or in your T.V room.
Tired, harassed soul craving some quiet. He’s waiting.