• We sleep in the desert
    on a land full of stories
    and all night the wind reads the news.

    The Word is written
    everywhere on the land.

    from "Easter, Picacho Peak"
    Laura Girardeau
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July 09, 2007


Susan Albert

Thank you, Susan, for reminding us how truly and deeply we need the silence of the wild (whether it is the tiny wildnesses of our gardens or the vast wilderness of the desert.

"Who tells a finer tale than any of us? Silence does."--Isak Dineson

Paula S. Yost

Blessed silence... today I hear it in your writing and in the rain that continues to block out all other sounds outside my window. Thank you for taking me to drier country at least for a moment.

Marti Johnson (aka Sock Queen)

Remember the song "The Sounds of Silence"? I envy those of you able to find this place of absolute silence {from everyday noise} and the ability to hear only the sounds of nature instead. From my reasonably quiet home, I still hear the sounds of the heavy traffic on the freeway going past constantly, almost the sound of 'white noise', and think how wonderful it would be to listen only to nature instead. Enjoy your wilderness sounds; too many of us never have that opportunity.

Dani Greer

Yes, I moved to the country for some peace and quiet, only to find myself surrounded by highway noise, heavy equipment, and man's "pest" friend from the ubiquitous county puppy mills. Who would have guessed country living could be so stressful? I thought I was a true oddball until I discovered the Right to Quiet Society a few years ago. They have some good "noiseletters" here:


Lots of good tips and support for those who value stillness... inside and out.

Hope Martin

Sometimes its just turning off the tv! That moment of quiet is like a physical thing! Leaving a store with all the forced music and tv's all playing so loud, just getting into the car and closing the door, silence!
My best favorite is waking up so early, its a bit misty, and so still, and then, hearing the birds waking up!

Susan J Tweit

Thanks for the comments - it's interesting how we only notice the importance of stillness and quiet when we don't have them. For those interested in another resource on noise as pollution, check out the work of the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse (http://www.nonoise.org/). They do research and write sample ordinances on controlling noise, and they offer help dealing with unwanted noise in your neighborhood or community. I think we have the right to quiet, but it's not a right we assert very often or effectively.
Quiet blessings! Susan


Beautifully said, and so true. Have you considered publishing this piece? It would fit well in an environmental or hiker's magazine (Orion, Backpacker, etc.).

Susan J Tweit

Hi, Laura,

Thanks for the comment. A slightly different version of it came out in the Denver Post as an op-ed a copule of years ago. I should have said that at the end of the post, but it was late and I forgot to add that!


Linda Peterson

Love your piece, Susan. I am never so aware of the silence-noise dichotomy as I am in the winter here in the Midwest when most of the birds leave or lie low most of the time. Gone, too, is wind in the leaves. I come close to weeping when I hear the first cardinal yawp out his territoral alert; if we're lucky that can be in mid-February. It is the first signal of hope in a frozen world. What terrifies me to death is the current news that our songbirds are in a drastically sharper decline in numbers than previously thought. How awful to think that my first sign of "hope" might be the neighbor's gas mower!

Linda Mandeville

Loved your thoughts Susan. That is exactly why we go high up in the Colorado Rockies camping every summer. There are lots of hikes that put me "on top of the world". Really! It is where I find peace. There are no cell phones and no laptops. My husband and I rarely pass anyone on the trails. We sometimes talk, but we don't need to. We have no idea what is going on in the world and for 1 week don't feel a need to know. We just got back from our week in the mountains. I wish there was a way to bring it home, but instead I always leave a part of myself there.

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