Since moving to the retreat center in 2005, silence has become a welcomed part of my daily existence. Having moved from the center of the nation's 4th largest city, it took a while to embrace silence, both aurally and emotionally. But embrace it I did, except for today.
When there's a retreatant in the main retreat house who chooses to be in silence during their stay I too am in silence by default. Miss Mocha finds this silly and picks the most inopportune moments to take her squeakiest toy upstairs and give it a good workout. So there she is squeaking away and I'm shushing her while the retreatant is giggling in her room. So much for silence!
I had both arms wrapped lovingly around silence today, until about noon. By then, I was about the climb the walls wanting to hear music, dialogue, the sound of a raindrops on the window pane. I'm not sure why today was any different than past times when it was the breaking of silence that unnerved me, but I confess on this Sabbath day that something's niggling me under the surface.
Most likely, the contributing factor to my can't-sit-still-in-my-seat condition is the anticipated death of my biological father. He's been diagnosed with colon cancer, that's spread to his liver, lungs and lymph nodes in his chest. He's under hospice care in Austin, with my sister acting as primary caregiver.
We've been estranged for more than 20 years. I'd like to think I can get to a place of forgiveness before he dies. Time for some meditation and healing and maybe a visit to Austin.