Gratitude of Silence

It is Sunday morning in Dublin, and I’m on my second cup of coffee. The house is silent except for a few straggling morning zombies getting ready to leave for the day.

Sunday mornings have always held an extra sense of romance in them, and I savor mornings like this with great reverence.

Silence, over the years, has become a beautiful practice in all aspects of my life. When I find it most important happens to be while I am traveling.

The quiet allows me to simultaneously reflect and observe.

When I travel, I am often experiencing things for the very first time in my life. I am seeing new types of architecture, smells, tastes. I even see new and intoxicating shades of color. If I am lucky enough, I even have conversations with complete strangers: strange and glorious stories, new perspectives, thoughts of love and living, faith, heartbreak, family. To have these experiences and acknowledge the magnitude of what has unfolded itself around me, I need to remove myself from the center of my own world and observe in quiet. I need to remove myself from both physical and mental noise. I believe that in solitude and silence, many of our great personal journeys begin.

I find that I now have fallen completely in love with traveling solo because at times, the constant attention and chatter of friends makes me lose the ability to really see and process what is around me. It takes a particularly great amount of focus to multitask so effectively, and having authentic experiences with locals has become so pivotal to me as a traveler. Solitude can also hold the most generous rewards if you let it. (However, these are simple sacrifices. I will always love and need the beautiful, hilarious companionship of good friends. Even from across the ocean they have given me life when I was very alone during the first few months of my move).

This morning in this quiet kitchen, I have already thought about many things and my thoughts are more whole and complete than normal. I have thought about how I absolutely love to see the rain pattering against the huge windows in the kitchen. I have conducted a plan about how I’m going to smuggle this sweet Irish dog, Bruce, with me back home to the States. He is snoring at my feet and completely unaware of the future heist. But mostly, I have thought about the kind of woman I want to be.

Today, I want to be strong. I want to be elegant. I want to be patient and kind. I want to speak my thoughts clearly and concisely with an attempt to understand things outside of my own worldview. I want to soak every last drop of Ireland into the core of my being while I still can, as if I am stocking up for a great hunger that will hit when I return home. I want to make every person I interact with today feel like a person, that they deserve a good day. I’m not completely sure how to do that, but once I log out here I’m going to figure it out.

And with that I conclude this post. You are beautiful and deserve a great, sweet God-given day.

With love,

Em

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