Revelation: Listening to the Quietness

Laura Basha


It was March, and it was my birthday, and I wanted to spend the day with my husband, simply, in the quietness of a nearby majestic grove of redwood trees, followed by dinner at a favorite restaurant overlooking the Bay.

When we arrived at the redwood grove, throngs of people were there, talking loudly, talking on cell phones (what?!), babies crying, teens running around showing off to their crushes. I was very annoyed! It was my birthday and I wanted to be in the quietness of the Ancients!

It was then that I realized that the complaining in my head was as loud – or louder – than the outer cacophony of other people’s conversations! Humility emerged …


As we walked more deeply into the forest, the crowds thinned, and I stood in front of these elegant nobles, listening to the Silence of their timelessness. One thousand, two thousand, thirty two hundred years old … how many histories had they seen come and go?

As I listened to the quietness, the question arose in me: “What must it be like to stand still for three thousand years?” The silent thunder that emerged from listening that question from the inside out, expanded within me with velocity, such that I had to turn my attention away in less than a couple of minutes. I was taken aback at the limits of my ability to be present to such Silence, such profound presence.

No wonder we make noise, to distract us from the discomfort of profundity, of the timeless eternity of the unknown, the Absolute.


I finally stepped into the world of the great naturalists who have sung the praises of our stunningly beautiful Earth, privately sheepish that I had not previously been as intimately awake to this great sacredness. And yet, now powerfully inspired to cultivate as a practice being with the omniscient emptiness of Nature.

Birth Day indeed!

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