I’ve posted just a few pictures of the fabulous Sonoma setting where we enjoyed an incredibly rich experience in the hills poised above a beautiful vineyard. I am not much of a photographer, but I can give you a wee taste of the verdant, luminous and idyllic landscape. My cousin’s son, Mitch, married the beautiful Molly and there is indeed a special energy when a family comes together not just to attend a ceremony, but to witness, according to one of my favorite writers, Madeleine L’Engle, Love, the one surprise.
You have a lot of time to think when you’re in the car for an 800-mile round-trip. I thought about how much of the weekend activity reminded me of what I’ve been reading in Silence, The Mystery of Wholeness (Sardello). In my active life isolation of any kind is untenable. Everywhere I go it seems noise follows. Even on this trip we spent one extra night on the road and Jay and I looked forward to a peaceful (quiet) coffee-laden continental breakfast at the hotel prior to the next leg of the drive. Guess what? We were met with two (not one, TWO) ceiling mounted televisions screeching the morning news show—news if you’re inclined to care that according to GMA the 80’s are returning in fashion and entertainment elements. Blah! Blah! Blah!
Sardello affirms what I know to be true– that it is nearly impossible to find true silence. People no longer go “into the woods” leaving technology behind, and where amplified sound goes, noise for someone else follows. High in the Sonoma hills the vineyards teased a break from noise with the beauty and promise of solitude indeed tempting. Blogger Loren Rhodes shared a beautiful post this week in response to her daughter’s questioning why mommy enjoys cemeteries. Cemetery Travel: Adventures in Graveyards Around the World | Member of the Graveyard Rabbits Association. Perhaps “cemetery talk” is oddly juxtaposed against my family wedding experience, but the beautiful response to her child got me thinking about the tug that almost daily exists between the pull to quiet and solitude and push to remain actively engaged and connected to others!
Although I really hope you’ll read her own words, Loren mused that the draw to cemeteries exists because they are peaceful and quiet, but they also stand as reminders that everything, even memory, passes away, and it’s our relationships today that are real and give life importance. The beautiful Sonoma house we stayed in was filled with joyful noise, while the outdoors beckoned a long sit on the verandah. I always look for ways to sit and be still in such a beautiful setting, but this go-round I didn’t actually sit in solitude. I didn’t have the opportunity to fully experience the quiet from the outside as much as I would have liked, but I most definitely found deep satisfaction and fully appreciated the abundant experience of time spent in company and relationship with a wonderful multigenerational family. It was a truly special experience. And any time I can be with my very loved (and loving) family, I know I can tap into the peaceful silence, often elusive, you can only carry with you.
Maybe you can share how you tap into silent experiences! I’d love to hear.