Wednesday morning as Barb, Marge and Jackie K. left the chapel following morning prayer, Jackie K. said, “It sure is quiet around here!” She was right, it was quiet.
It is the week leading into a long holiday weekend. The work needed after last weekend’s guests departed is done and we have no guests scheduled until after Labor Day. Many staff members are taking advantage of the light schedule to get some personal time away from work. Tracy, Candy and Marge live here and get the whole house to themselves this weekend with no schedules to follow. The quiet is welcome for all of us, staff and residents alike.
Quiet is something we are all used to around here, as we often have silent retreatants here and we work very hard to respect their need for silence. The quiet this week is a different kind of quiet, though. It is quiet that goes beyond mere silence and offers fewer interruptions, fewer expectations, fewer responsibilities, less urgent timelines. It is a quiet that affords us more focus, and more freedom to pay attention to our own needs because we do not need to be attentive to the needs of our guests.
Our Facebook post for today, a quote from Jon Kabat-Zinn, also speaks of our need for quiet: “It is indeed a radical act of love just to sit down and be quiet for a time by yourself.” Everyone needs this kind of quiet periodically. It offers us time to no only leave the noise of the world outside but allows us the opportunity to quiet our body, our mind and our spirits. It helps us recharge mentally, physically and spiritually. A big part of what we do here at St. Anthony’s is to provide a quiet environment for others so they are able to recharge. As fulfilling and gratifying as that work is for us, it is especially nice when we can experience some of that kind of quiet ourselves right here.
For quiet in the midst of our lives, and for the gifts of “less” and the gifts of “more” that quiet brings, we say Deo Gratias!