Since I have come here to Portugal and in particular in this lovely village of Almoçageme near the Sintra Mountains, one thing struck me out of the most.
The moment I sat down, the sound of silence surrounded me with such a powerful presence that it was impossible not to notice.
As you can see from the pictures the houses are next to each other, the roads are narrow and there is activity. People walking, dogs barking and cars passing by. But the Silence reigns Master here above all.
Even the Mind quiets down in awe, almost not wanting to disturb such serenity with too many thoughts.
I am sure that after a while living here one becomes accustomed to it, but people coming from cities, the first thing that they notice is the quietness. That kind of quietness that unconsciously relaxes the body and mind making us feel at ease.
It is a complete change of rhythm. When you are in a city what takes over is the mind, there are many information around us that need processing, and everything is usually in the fast mode, depending on the clock. Time is ticking away and we have to get there before it closes, we can’t lose that chance, we cannot afford to lose time. The mind is constantly finding the best way to accomplish the list of tasks that we want or are obliged to do.
Here there are no such inputs. The maximum concern for me would be getting in time to the grocery shop before it closes! There are different aspects, of course, if you are a local you would have different concerns and priorities, but from my point of view what I perceive is that the rhythm is different, there is no rushing, in anything. And of course, that could cause some distress if you are waiting for someone to turn up to fix anything and they are not in time. But like this, you are forced to learn to relax and Take it Easy.
This makes me realize what are the priorities in life. Our bodies are set to respect the natural rhythm of Nature, and that is slow. Have you ever waited for a Flower to bloom, or for a fruit to become ripe naturally? I have, every day waiting and nothing would turn up, for days, for months, and then suddenly the magical moment occurs. So I understand that even our bodies follow the same code, beyond what our minds think or believe. Yes, you can push it, it is unbelievable the amount of stress a body can take, but at what cost? You can also push Nature but we already know what the price for that is.
Silence for me is my Medicine. Even by being here, working every day on my projects, between the computer, learning new things and leaving freedom to ideas to occupy most of my thoughts, it can be a little overwhelming. But if I am able to be aware of the body and force myself to stop and sit quietly with a cup of coffee or tea, just enjoying pure silence, the body quickly regenerates.
Sometimes thoughts are too strong and I am unable to hear anything else, so a stronger Medicine is required.
I take the camera and walk away to the lonely paths through Nature that lead to the high rocks on the Ocean. When I enter that space, the Silence is so powerful that all thoughts and ideas suddenly disappear. The only sound is the power of the waves crashing on the shore. Thousands of sparkles of light shine on the surface. I have attuned to Mother Nature again and I can hear the birds singing.
We all need these breaks, they are fundamental for our well-being, and in my opinion absolutely a must during the process of creativity. Many years ago I read somewhere that even in music the most important part of a song is the silence. It is what determines the rhythm. Without silence between notes, it would be a long uninterrupted sound, not a beautiful harmonious song.
So this is my advice to you today. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, find a space, in Nature if possible as it is easier, and allow the Sound of Silence to take over. Nurture it every day, you may notice it for a few moments at first but the more you continue, wider that space will become. Enjoy and Take it Easy.