June 24 – 30, 2016Vol. 18, No. 3

The Quest For Quiet

by Esther J. Perne

Suspended gently over the rough earth in a constantly moving body of liquid, the air pushes and pulls your vessel smoothly forward, nothing but the essence of nature moving you along toward nowhere special. The trappings of your daily world slowly wash away in the small wake gurgling behind the transom, leaving you cleansed for the day ahead as you press forward into fresh air.

The rhythmic rise and fall of the bow through the small waves soothes the soul even further as you gaze out toward your destiny. Your speed increases as you gain the open waters. The sloop heels over a few more degrees stretching your sails into beautiful white curved wings. There is a feeling of power as you accelerate forward slicing through sunlit waves now flashing a million light beams of messages your way. What are they telling you?

"Essence of the Sail," by John Gibbs

Canoes gliding along the shoreline, bikes coasting down country roads, hikers entering woods and gaining heights that are of another world, kayaks skimming across the open water, rowboats bobbing with the rhythm of the waves and sailboats . . . taking off like magic with the wind.

Whether for love or escape the quiet side of summer recreation ranks high among the lure of the region and is one of the most rewarding. Quiet pursuits, quiet power, quiet times that balance out the other lives that people have to live.

The Noises of Silence

A waterfall
Waves on the shore
Wind in the trees
Raindrops. . .

The noises of silence
Are quieter still
Than no sound at all.

by Lionel Tardif,
year round Great Pond resident

Quiet in recreation is not library, not museum quiet, although we have that, too. It is the quiet of undertones that soothe the soul. Hoof beats on hard pack, the whirl of a bicycle's wheel, the dip and drip of a canoe or kayak paddle and the snapping line of a casting rod, the crunch-crunch of hiking through leaves, the songs of so many birds that none stands out.

Through the quietness of the outdoors and outdoor recreation, there can be great bonding, observations and conversation, families can share an activity in common and all ages can gain a new respect for healthy exercise.

This summer be a birder, a hiker, a biker. Cross a cove in a sailboat, a kayak or a canoe. Fish early, take a walk late, and listen. It's all here . . . quietly.