Why is it that spending fewer than 24 hours in rural Vermont this winter left me feeling so refreshed? The reason is simple. Surrounded by the beauty of the natural world, I experienced total silence and it momentarily cleared my brain and enriched my soul.

I am fortunate to have a son-in-law who grew up in Putney, Vermont. It’s a truly idyllic spot. Granted, I am a city girl, born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts. I love the stimulation and anonymity of urban centers: Boston, New York, Tel Aviv, Haifa, San Francisco, to name a few favorites.

But in Vermont, I encountered the sound of silence that is practically non-existent in my world.

My daughter’s in-laws and I set out to cross-country ski in a field near their home. That’s when it hit me—absolute quiet. Not even a single automobile passed by. Of course the three of us chatted when we reunited, but while engaged in the act of skiing, I was enveloped by silence. But not just silence. Silence experienced within the beauty of wondrous nature—blue skies, white snow, sunshine, trees, woods.

The impact was magical and majestic.

The next day I ventured out awhile on snow shoes and encountered more of the same, but this time I was alone, so not even intermittent chatter interrupted the blessed silence. I looked up and observed beautiful clouds streaming across the sky at a quick pace. This allowed me to communicate with my idea of divinity—such a precious experience and so rare in our crazy, social media-dominated and fast-paced daily routines.

So how does one slow down and smell the roses? It takes effort.

And how can I apply elements of this elusive silence into my normal noisy, multi-tasking life? Well, today I intentionally turned my car radio off and drove in semi-silence for a bit. Maybe doing more of this will help.

How else will we ever be able to reflect or commune with nature, ourselves or the Almighty?

Truth be told, it’s hard to find quiet, but highly worth the effort. Sadly, Vermont is not a practical solution for all, but there are parks and woods aplenty in our midst.

I, for one, am resolved to spend more time in this quest. Simply put, it’s divine.

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