The blare of a power washer has chased me from the sunlit patio to the quiet conference room here at Shell Point now that it's finally time to settle down to write. I find it ironic, knowing the topic of this post.

"Soul-making" is a phrase that is appearing in several of the books I'm currently reading. When the soul is sick, or immature, the body and mind can't help but be affected, which makes me wonder if the formation of our souls, our psyche, our spirit, is perhaps the most important task that we have as human beings. My body would like me to make sure I grab all the sun I can while I'm here in Florida. My soul says, please, give us a quiet morning. I am learning to trust that if I start with my soul, the rest of the voices in my inner community will get all that they need to thrive.

The following poem by Wendell Berry gives a hint on the importance of silence in this inner formation. The poem is included in a collection entitled "Given" and was received as a gift from my sister-in-law this Christmas. The picture at top of the post is that of a bellwort, a woodland flower that blooms in early spring.

Sabbaths 2003

Ask the world to reveal its quietude-
not the silence of machines when they are still,
but the true quiet by which birdsongs,
trees, bellworts, snails, clouds, storms
become what they are, and are nothing else.