Quieting the Soul





At times these days I think of the way the sun would set on the farmland around our small house in the autumn.  A view of the horizon, the entire circle of it, if you turned, the sun setting behind you, the sky in front becoming pink and soft, then slightly blue again, as though it could not stop going on in its beauty, then the land closest to the setting sun would get dark, almost black against the orange line of the horizon, but if you turn around, the land is still available to the eye with such softness, the few trees, the quiet fields of cover crops already turned, and the sky lingering, lingering, then finally dark. As though the soul can be quiet for those moments.

All life amazes me.

– Elizabeth Strout, from My Name is Lucy Barton







I have learned, from those much wiser than I, to recognize moments meant for quieting.  The news of the world constantly rushes past; there is suffering beyond imagining in the lives of a few I know and millions I don’t know.  There is much I can do to make a difference but so much more beyond my feeble reach.

Instead of feeling abandoned on the shores of overwhelm, I seek out the familiar, the routine, and the ordinary, immersed in the recurring patterns of the day and night as the world turns on its axis.  I turn myself around to witness what surrounds me.

And so I am quieted.  And so I am amazed.






4 thoughts on “Quieting the Soul

  1. And like the soft breeze through the leaves of the tree, listen to the rhythm of your breathe…..as the air flows into your lungs, deeper, deeper, your chest expanding, then exhaling every bit of it….over and over. Then it sounds and feels as the ocean waves that continue to lap the sandy beaches. Thanks for your beautiful post Emily. Please know you have many friends out here that continue to pray for you and your family, your patients and God’s work through you. Blessings,….


  2. Like Skyeblaine, I, too, needed your message today Emily. Every word rings true and has for some time. Quiet time in prayer and being aware of who in my immediate circle, and strangers also, of whom I am aware need something or someone to help ease their journey are the only ways that I seem to be able to help. I am convinced that the more we strive for unity as sisters and brothers of the One God as the Incarnated Jesus taught us by His life and by His death
    the more we will have the strength and the will to confront and rebuke the evil that has taken over our world.


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