The Space of Silence
By Makhupe Angara
Yesterday I happened to be in one of the coffee shops near my placement site with a couple of other friends, and the moments we shared were good. I communicated very little in the entire conversation since I could only express myself in few words of the new language of the local community. The discussions were endless and I gradually started to grow impatient with everything. I even dozed off several times. I could not use my phone because it had run out of charge during the service. This interaction shaped yet another space for me within those coffee shop walls, a space of silence. This was a space of scrutinizing the relevance of nature and time, a space for taking a break for myself from the normal routine, for having random thoughts, flashbacks, memories and wishes.
My mind was occupied. I realized how awesome the space was. “Who could have been the designer?” I pondered, then that thought led to other thoughts, and those thoughts linked to others and to others until I realized, I was in my own meeting. My eyes were free to look around, observing various things and people in the café. I liked everything in my space of silence. I smelled the aroma of thyme. The whole adventure within myself was refreshing. I eventually uncovered new motivation and inspiration.
This generation is busy with the latest technology. People strive to be the best and consequently demand perfection. People aggressively compete for more likes on social media. They experience sleepless nights in an attempt to keep up with the latest movies or television series. They turn to Google for the trendy fashion designs of the season. The daily routine occupies space among many other tight schedules.
I keep wondering why a family of four came to the café yesterday shortly before we left and after ordering drinks each on of them seemed busy on their cell phone – yet, it was a Sunday, a good moment for family together. I thought how many more families in this generation lack time for togetherness in body and mind due to the glorification of 'busyness'.
Sometimes we just need time and space away from our 'busyness' to have 'me time'. How healthy it is to go away from the comfort of our normal space and routine, and just switch off the phone and Computer, walk away into a new space (not necessarily physical space, but an ethereal space where nothing interferes in our minds and hearts) and dwell in the attentiveness of time as it unfolds with new possibilities and memories. Giving ourselves the gift of time to appreciate ourselves and God. Anytime of the day or night will work for this practice. Look at the horizon as the sun sets and blue begins to drape itself across the land. Or at dawn, listen to the crickets and birds sing. Create a space of silence, quiet rest, and contemplation. And surely, “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge,” Psalm 91:4.
REFLECT: What unexpected moments have blessed your space of silence, and how?