The Beauty of Silence

snow scene

This is a contemplative time of year.  How do we see ourselves?  What can we change to make ourselves better people?  I contemplate keeping my big mouth shut.  If didn’t like karaoke so much I would wish I were mute!

Like the time we were sitting at a long table at our friends’ wedding dinner.  Everyone laughing and passing food, settling the children where they should sit, enjoying the celebration.  The wedding was for our friends’ at Miller Farms daughter and her long time boyfriend that we had befriended over years of doing markets together.  Somehow, they had started calling me Kate pretty early on.  Which I despise.  But somehow over the years I never mentioned to call me Katie.  Oversight on my part, really, and I should know never to let things sit unresolved in my mind, for it will explode out of my mouth at the most inopportune time.  As her young brother was moved away from me so that their adult friend could sit down, the groom says nonchalantly, “You can see Kate later.”

“KATIE!  It’s Katie!  I probably should have mentioned that earlier.”  Gaping mouths closed and an uncomfortable banter started as if nothing happened.  I had hoped that perhaps I was so quiet in saying it that no one would remember, but now every time we see anyone from the wedding they say, “Hi Kate…ie.”

Or sitting at a crowded table in a restaurant with my very dear friends.  Kat mentions sweetly that Doug is just like one of her sons to her.  “Boy, you have rotten kids!” I blurted out.  Huh?  Why the hell did I say that?  That familiar uncomfortable banter ensued.

I get nervous and say stupid things.  I responded too quickly at farmer’s markets with Nancy, saying things clipped or cocky.

I got mad and blurted out things at Doug’s family’s table that I could not live down for years.

I have hurt feelings.  I have not always been loving.  But I try.  Sometimes things just fly out of my mouth.

Things that come out when speaking to the kids, come out wrong and they can easily turn it into something worse and I realize that sometimes what is in my heart doesn’t come out the way I want.  My words are my own nemesis.

If I were mute, only those that read my written words, or know sign language would know when I say something idiotic.  I would appear to be this sweet, quiet lady.

I try to compliment everyone I meet.  I try to raise people up and inspire them.  I just need to get rid of the turrets-like things that find their way out of my mouth.

I sit by the window and watch the swirls of icy snow create a vast wonderland.  The pure white world glistening and peaceful as the animals mill around in their thick coats and the wood smoke wafts lazily into the cold sky.  The scene is so beautiful, and pure, so peaceful and sweet that I want myself to mimic this landscape.

So if I don’t speak to you and only smile, you know it is for your own good.  Words are icicles.  A smile, a good ear for listening, and a hug is far more valuable.