April 1, 2011

Simple Pleasures: Quiet

We all need a quiet zone

When I was in elementary school one of my uncles gave me a nickname. He called me "The Quiet Man", and it was a name that stuck for a while. I would have preferred something like 'Champ', but I suppose I was focused on unobtrusively observing life around me.

Not much has changed, and my uncle's tag is still applicable. To this day one of my simple pleasures is quiet. Peace and quiet.

A favourite pastime of mine, in case you have not yet visited Vancouver Island Big Trees (my other blog), is hanging out among giant, ancient trees. One reason I like these spots as much as I do is because they are quiet. Far from the sounds of civilization, and muffled in moss, the quiet descends.

The Forest: Lair of The Quiet Man
The forest is quiet enough to notice the smallest of sounds, once your ears have adjusted. Gentle, natural sounds, like dripping water, the wind in the tree tops, or the blood rushing through your veins.

Noise pollution is a grating distraction that we unfortunately get used to as the price of living a modern existence. We are constantly bombarded by sound, whether it is traffic crawling through your neighbourhood, or a refrigerator running in your kitchen. Television, radio, cell phones, computers, doorbells, car alarms - all are vicious vibrations threatening our sanity.

Constant, low-level stress results from this discordant din. We need periods of quiet. Peace and quiet. I know. I am the Quiet Man.

I prefer natural settings for peace and quiet, and am fortunate to live in a semi-rural, semi-silent location. There are regular sounds of life, building noises, but most of the time it is quiet. At those times the loudest sounds are Mallard ducks quacking, and eagles calling to each other. Or waves lapping against the sea wall.

A park bench is a nice place to take in some quiet

Thankfully, peace and quiet can also be found in urban settings. In the city, public libraries are great places to find a quiet spot. Parks, courtyards, places of worship, and gardens can be peaceful settings to take a moment or two to give your ears, and your brain, a break.

A room in your home can provide a few moments of sanctuary after shutting off all electronic devices. Give yourself some peace and quiet. Take a retreat from sound. Start with just a few minutes per day. Take more as needed.

Quiet. A necessary and simple pleasure. Shhh...


  1. I sometimes find the nature near me to be quite loud, with all the birds and geese honking and the relentless frogs and crickets in the summer, but I love it!

  2. I know what you mean about the noise of the road. What ever happened to "No Idle BC"?
    I love to sneak off to the trails up north here on Vancouver Island. My favourite spot though is in the Cariboo, wandering the cow trails. (open range cattle) The only sounds - the wind in the pines and the call of White crown Sparrow. Truly peaceful......

  3. I love the sounds of nature. And the big trees are so amazing here. They're the best "medication" for the soul when you're feeling stressed or blue.

    Prairies are nice in their own way, but I'm hooked on the coast. I don't take the beauty of the west coast for granted. I appreciate the amazing forests, mountains and of course the ocean.

  4. Anon,

    Nature is where it's at! The sights and sounds are soothing medicine.


    I am on the other end of the island in Sooke. Is there any inexpensive land up there? 1 - 5 acres?


    I was born on the prairies, and do enjoy their stark beauty. But once I was introduced to the west coast, when I was 10 years old, I was hooked.


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