from such great heights

this is what life sounds like:

Posted in life by chapwoman on April 3, 2008

I reacquainted myself with silence today.

After methodically tying my shoe laces & strapping on my iSnug with tunes and all, I began on my not-so-unusual jog out to my not-so-unusual Poly Canyon route. The gravel was damper than usual, since it rained like a mother yesterday, but the air was pleasantly cleaner and crisper than the already clean and crisp air of San Luis Obispo. With the change in atmosphere, I decided to change my usual route by adventuring across a rickety bridge to the jungle of man-made footpaths. I heard that the trails were great for running/hiking. Running? Not so much. What I expected to be casual footpaths were actually strenuous and uphill for a solid 20 minutes (factoring in that I mistook one of the trails and ended up by some random barbed-wire fence on the hillside).

Now when I normally go for a jog, my 30-minute routine begins with “Set Yourself on Fire” by Stars and the “workout” playlist meanders through A-Ha, Avril, Kanye, etc. But those upbeat tunes made for jogging didn’t work here in Poly Canyon on these jogger-unfriendly trails. So what did I do? I turned the iPod off.

It was revolutionary.

I heard crickets croaking then shrubs being tickled by the wind then. Pure silence. I turned around and realized that I had scaled an entire hillside and couldn’t believe how tiny the house at the entrance of Poly Canyon, as well as the student architecture projects, actually were. They were so far away–and I was standing near the peak of a gigantic hill. By myself. With only the crickets and shrubs and pure silence. Not only did I feel an immense appreciation for the landscape of San Luis Obispo, I felt like I was staring God in the face. Without my iPod blaring music into my ears, all I had were those hills nestled behind the noisy campus of Cal Poly–so green, untouched, serene.

It seems like life today is kept in motion because of noise. Whether it be the radio voice we listening to on the way to work, the TV newscaster rattling off the weekly forecast as we get ready for class, or the mp3’s that become a soundtrack for writing English essays and doing calculus homework, our lives are filled with noise. I’m the kind of person who has her iTunes on whenever possible; I can’t even remember the last time I drove my car without the music on. Why work in silence when you can have a great song playing in the background? Because of silence. Because of the natural sounds life offers everyday that scare us to death.

We all need a break from the noise though. In a society where time is money and where cities don’t sleep, it’s absolutely necessary that we SLOW DOWN. And the perfect way to do that is to reacquaint ourselves with silence. Reflect on life at this moment. Sit with whatever is eating away at us. Realize how great God is. Pray.

Let’s spend at least a little bit of time each day by ourselves–not with the trivial noises of life, but with the silent pauses of life.

I will be jogging without headphones more often.

C’est la vie,


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