"Creation has not displaced silence, but is her visible frame-work and [thinly-covering] foil. All sounds are her servants and purveyors, proclaiming not only that their mistress is, but is a rare mistress, and earnestly to be sought after. Sounds are akin to Silence; they are a faint utterance of Silence, heighteners and intensifiers of the Silence."
Henry David Thoreau
This weekend I took a hike up into the high country and discovered the first subalpine wildflowers beginning to bloom: pink Calypso Orchids, Brown Ladies' Slippers and white Marsh-Marigolds. The temperature was quite warm, and as I meditated near a waterfall, I felt the old, familiar "backpacker feeling" sweep over me.
Difficult to describe, this feeling is for me associated with a heightening of the pristine majesty of silence and solitude. As I sat by the stream, I had a renewed sense that both creatures AND Silence never fail to express an intriguing yet soothing sense of mystery as they shapeshift blissfully into one another: phenomena emptying themselves into the Silence as they acknowledge It as their Source, and the Silence immediately emptying Itself back out in love as It gives birth each moment to the ten thousand things. Here there is a mutual bliss of both Silence and creatures, with me - and each of us - caught midway - everlastingly - in between . . .
Photos: Calypso Orchids, Brown Ladies' Slippers, Marsh-Marigolds, and Ouzel Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, June 3, 2016
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.