Silence is rare in our home.
My wife is exuberant.
Our daughter is not a dud. She rarely stops moving. Or speaking.
I’m quieter. Not talking is my default.
When I fly across the country to visit my parents after not seeing them for months, I often sit in the living room and read. It must frustrate my poor mom as she regales me with stories, and I do not respond. Instead, I’m mute, poring over the local newspaper.
Last week, after Covid restrictions loosened, we visited with my wife’s parents and sister for the first time in forever. They are a passionate family – interested in everything – lulls in the conversation are rare. We sat outside on their patio, which offers a spectacular view of the ocean.
True to form, I said almost nothing. I sat. I gazed at the water and Mount Baker in the distance.
I must appear disengaged. Lost in my own world.
Yet that’s not the case. In those situations, nothing is more precious to me than my family. Being surrounded by those I love means more to me than anything. It is where I want to be. It is my comfort zone.
My wife and I joke that I “bury it deep.” Why speak aloud what can safely be tucked away inside?
I could do better. I could talk more. I do believe we should all push beyond our comfort zones.
Yet, we have comfort zones for a reason. Water finds it level. We do too. Learning to accept who and what we are – those things that are intrinsic to our personalities, and fundamental to our beings, is essential.
I don’t actually bury it deep. If I did, this blog wouldn’t exist. On it, I share some of my innermost thoughts. Things I wouldn’t say over coffee with my family, friends, or co-workers, I write down for the world to see. I can’t explain it. It just feels right.
As we sat on my in-law’s patio, and they talked, I spotted two Orcas, no more than a hundred meters offshore. The fins of these killer whales cut through the water with grace and precision. It was a spectacular sight.
Silence has its rewards.