During a recent conversation about Charlotte Mason and education, someone described a class they had seen where classical music was played, but where the teacher continued to talk, describe, and generally interrupt so that nobody could hear or pay attention to the music.
Ann Voskamp has often talked about silences, listening. Most of us now do not come from a culture of nurturing silence or of careful, deliberate listening. Silence is not natural or comfortable for most of us, any more than total darkness is natural or comfortable for those of us who live in cities and always, even in the middle of the night, have some light around us somewhere.
But that doesn't mean silence is bad; we just have to work harder at listening. And at letting others learn to listen. And look, too.
Do our lives and our children's lives include enough of these? Looking at pictures, without interruption. Listening to music. Listening to beautiful words, without too much explanation. Looking at and listening to large and small things outdoors, without chatter about other concerns. Looking at darkness (and at whatever stars appear while we look). Listening to others' prayers.
Listening to silence.