Sunday, May 31, 2009
The Sounds Of Silence
This ukulele business may have greater impact on our lives than we are fully aware of. One of the YesterUkes shared this story with us at the last practice. He had gone in search of silence, a time apart. But here, in his own words, is what happened...
"Our ukulele group, the Yesterukes, learn new songs from time to time to update our repertoire and to stretch us a bit. Some songs, for whatever reason, tend to stay with me longer than do others and I often have difficulty getting a tune out of my mind. Case in point, a recent experience which I shared with the Yesterukes at last week's practice to let them know what a difference they have made in my life.
I had missed the previous week's practice because I spent the week at Mepkin Abbey, a Trappist monastery outside Monck's Corner, SC. The monks take a vow of silence and retreatants are to respect the silence while in the presence of the monks. Even meals are eaten in silence.
I find time spent at the abbey to be a wonderful break from the world of noise and distraction in which we spend our lives and I always look forward to returning to the abbey. Live oaks draped with Spanish moss line the road leading from the entrance to the reception center and are found throughout the hundreds of acres that make up the monastery grounds. There is a formal garden area located on the banks of the Cooper River which adds to the peace and the beauty of Mepkin.
It is a worshipful setting that invites the retreatant to enter the world of silence and meditation. But whether I was walking the labyrinth, strolling through the formal garden, or sitting in the dining room enjoying a cup of coffee alone with my thoughts, what kept cycling through my mind? Rubber Duckie!!! If the monks had known how secular minded I was, they probably would have shown me to the gate and sent me on my way."