The Soothsayer of Silence

“Listen to the silence. It has so much to say.”


This essay is an updated copy of an essay that I posted here a few years ago.

Within the sacred sphere of the fairy ring, silence, stillness, and solitude are the outward ways of being that connect our whole bodies, our breath and our senses, to nature. Silence soothes us to receive wisdom from not only the natural world, but also deep within our own intuitive center.

Silence – the absence of sound.   Quiet, hush.  There is scarcely a sound in the tundra.  The cacophony of the raucous raven. The dark, dotted silhouettes soaring against the winter white landscape. The oscillation of the ocean. Sometimes it is rowdy. Today, it is silent as it shifts slowly from the sway and swirl of its liquid state to its fixed, frozen form.  The never-ending, nocturnal barking of the dogs that often keeps me awake. The raging roar of the wild wind as it blows brutally through the village.  The high-pitched whine of a skidoo.  The hum of the prop plane as it approaches the village.  It is the rife reminder of my remoteness and my sole connection that will return me to the rest of the world.  A selective smattering of sounds, but mostly a continuum of silence. 

Plants begin their tiny lives in silence.  Within the dark soil they remain still in silence, snuggled tight within the seed, awaiting just the right moment to burst forth.  In silence, plants communicate with each other and their pollinators using a fragrant language, a collection of volatile chemicals that in certain combinations, produce “words” and “sentences.”  Together, trees and fungus create a silent, underground, interdependent, communication network that transfers water, nutrients, nitrogen, carbon, and biochemicals between organisms, influencing germination, growth, survival, and reproduction of other trees within the stand.  In turn, trees alter their behavior. Trees and other plants are not growing in isolation. They are connected to the rest of the plant world and receive important messages in silence. We, too, are connected in silence to our source of life, our environment, of which we are an integral part.

Silence provides us space to listen to Nature’s wisdom.  It allows us to pause and position ourselves to hear our own inner voice of silent knowledge, our intuition.  We center our silence in breath, releasing our compulsions that manifest in our mind’s eye. In our calm, we return to heart-centered thought.  It is in the quiet where we can clearly cultivate our relationship with nature and ourselves, creating a silent network of feelings and emotions that relieves us of our isolation, connects us to others, and helps us regain our bearings that are so often lost in a world of chatter and noise.

Published by Sarah Croscutt

I am the owner and facilitator of From the Outside, LLC, a program that connects people to the natural world, themselves, and each other through plant and nature-based activity, promoting self-awareness, healing, wholeness, and community. In addition, I am an environmental writer with essays included in several anthologies published by Plants and Poetry Journal and Wild Roof Journal (online). I would love to connect here or on Instagram @sarahc_outside.

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