Christmas Eve has arrived. The streets are less crowded as people gather in homes to celebrate this special season. Walking home via the Vancouver Seawall, my husband and I came across a lone artist working with absolute focus on a complex Christmas tree labyrinth of brightly coloured chalk against a large open walkway in Olympic Village. Without doubt, it is a labour of love, a gift to our community.
The definition of labyrinth is a complicated irregular network of passages or paths in which it is difficult to find one’s way. Walking the maze – I couldn’t resist the challenge – was a reminder that we experience complexity and ambiguity. Many times, we face crossroads and competing alternatives that shroud the road ahead. And yet, it is the challenge that makes life interesting, the moments meaningful. Time passes, new opportunities arise.
As we look forward to 2019, may we embrace the labyrinths that come our way.
“Silence is a source of great strength.” Lao Tzu
This month, I am following my dear friends, The World According to Dina, Leaping Tracks and Silkannthreades into silence. For most of us, this is entering unfamiliar territory. We have become accustomed to sound, whether it be the soothing lilt of music, the white noise of traffic, urgent text message notifications, or the inevitable clamour of an alarm clock. At the same time, our affinity with silence has lessened to the point that we are uneasy in what seems to be a “void.” Consider how we rush to fill a conversation when there is a lapse into silence.
Silence is a complete absence of sound, something which very few of us will ever experience. City dwellers will always have the company of noise. Nature offers the echoes of ocean waves crashing along a shoreline, wind rattling the trees, rain pelting the ground, voices of animals and the songs of birds. And the universe – even interstellar space is filled with noise.
I am discovering that silence can be reached when we allow the noise to drift away, when we relinquish the message conveyed by the incoming signal. In so doing, we open ourselves to new possibilities and outcomes.
In the end, silence is a personal journey, an inner conversation, an open invitation to explore and celebrate.
“I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” Chaim Potok
Finding Silence within a City Garden from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.