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I am sitting in a gazebo by a lake at the motel we stay when we are on our annual holiday to Stratford. The “Writer” in me exclaims “What a lovely place to sit and write something profound!” Actually I am doing something prosaic: I am on-line checking on work, writing progress notes, and signing prescriptions.  This isn’t as shocking as it sounds. It is mindless busy work and the ‘zen’ of the location makes it no matter.

There is no blatant sound other than the chirping of birds and a cheeping of a nearby cricket. In the distance I hear hikers, a man and a woman, chatting to each other.  Only this morning we were struggling traffic to get out of Toronto. The contrast is remarkable.

Quiet is a rare event. I don’t find it often. To be truthful, I don’t make it or seek it out as I could.  It’s too bad, for Quiet is a marvelous tonic.  Nowadays, Quiet gets bad press. Often it is called ‘Dead Air’ or taken as a sign something is wrong “Why don’t you say something? Is something the matter?”.

When I have Quiet I often merely fall asleep, which is OK but I miss its lovely paradox of being alert yet at ease.  Quiet should not be a once in a while treat, something I allow myself when on vacation. Quiet is not dessert, but as vital as water and air.

Sometimes I worry I am of the last generation to know Quiet. I see no evidence Youth ever experience or even know about it (plugged into their ipods and iphones as they are from the get-go).

If it isn’t too cold or too buggy this evening, I will return to this gazebo. The owner of the motel often makes a fire in the nearby pit. I will have the extra joy of Quiet in front of a crackling fire. It is no wonder Milton once described Heaven as a region –

“That which is not Music is Silence”. 

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