Appreciating Silence

The clatter of spoon and fork resounded through the candlelit room; the utensils fighting to get hold of the viand. Soft exchanges were made, as mouth delighting food entered the sources of the voices. The light played on the faces of my family and relatives, with most of them had happy faces on despite of what we went through. When I stood up from the table, the heaviness of what I have indulged settled in my stomach, and I was thankful for the blessing.

I opened the front door, the cool breeze entering the house. The moonlight bounced on the dark streets, as cars zoomed past us and their lights illuminating the road they covered. I dragged a chair outside, as the others began to join in. This was an unspoken schedule with all of us, that we would go onto the porch after dinner.

The soft sound of my sister’s ukulele began to fill the silence, as we began to join in the singing. The houses in front of us were either missing a window or a roof, while a little blaze filled their rooms. The stars above us painted a Van Gough like scenery, as they twinkled and danced for us. It has been a long time since I’ve seen stars like these, without all the artificial light.

Soon there would be a moment of silence. We don’t really plan it. It’s just one of those things that just happen. In between the exchange of stories about the city and the typhoon, there is a moment of silence. With our departure from our beloved city just a day away, there was a sense of nostalgia. We all knew that nothing in Tacloban would be the same again when we come back.

When the only sound of crickets playing their tune surrounded us, we were all quiet. Curfew was not for another 10 minutes, so we stayed silent. We remember the home we left behind, as we sought shelter in a relative’s home. We think about what was ahead, a temporary life in another island.

In the midst of our silence, a star decides to graze the sky, leaving behind a trail of light. We are all left in awe, a wish beating inside of us. As eight in the evening strolled around, we decided to retire to our beds. And as I closed that door, I gazed at the sky for a moment. It was amazing how it was the sky that took away almost everything, yet it gave us hope that wishes can still come true. When I fell asleep that night, the darkness and deafening silence my only companion, I begin to appreciate the silence, the simplicity it can offer. And even in silence, a lot can be said. With the silence of that star who died in front of us gave us life, a beam of hope to move on.

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This was during the sixth day after Haiyan, the day we booked a flight to leave on the eighth day. There was no electricity (until now), and we only had music to entertain us. The shooting star seemed symbolic, and it looked so near to us. The wonders of nature.

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22 Replies to “Appreciating Silence”

  1. How beautiful that your family can smile and sing after going through such a terrible ordeal. I have to give kudos to you and your family.

  2. Oh, so you have electricity back finally. That's definitley a step in the right direction!

  3. Silence can be so hurtful sometimes. A shooting start like that, I believe was a symbol of your new hope. Beautiful story.

  4. Your passion for writing always comes through in how well you do with it! Very nice, like always. 🙂

  5. You have such a beautiful way of writing. So descriptive! I, too, appreciate the silence 🙂

  6. Really beautiful words. Keep writing like this and you will for sure become a hired, professional writer. Amazing stuff Le-an!

  7. I think that it's so important for every person to stop every now and then to just experience stillness and silence. As humans, we are so busy all the time. As weird as this might sound, sometimes I wish electricity would go out every once and a while for just an hour at a time so people would be forced to slow down, unplug, and experience what life is truly about!

  8. Simon & Garfunkle wrote a song entitled "The ind of Silence"-It is still one of my favorites. And yes, nature giveth and nature taketh away and there is not much we can do about any of it except to wish upon a falling star.

  9. wonderfully written as always. I enjoy your stories, and this painting does fit!

  10. You paint such lovely pictures with words. I can almost imagine I was there.

  11. This is a very touching post. Nature can be so destructive, but so beautiful and hopeful. I'm sorry for all you've gone through.

  12. So much can be said in silence. You are so right. I'm happy you're back to writing and that you are safe now.

  13. I can't even imagine what you are going through and what you have gone through. I guess basically all you can do is move on. Beautiful story.

  14. You are an amazing writer. I feel like I have been in this journey through Haiyan right along with you. You are an amazing person to find your serenity among all the chaos.

  15. You are going through a horrible time and yet reading this and the scenes in your words – the sky, the shooting star combined with crickets sounds so beautiful. I know what you are going through is anything but beautiful though.

  16. You have so much hope in you. I love that!

  17. Beautiful words! I know it sounds trite, but we *are* praying for the victims of Haiyan.

  18. It's really quite lovely that in the face of everything you went through due to nature, you still reflected on its beauty and mystery.

  19. This is such a bittersweet post! brought a tear to my eyes! I am so sorry all of this has happened! Atleast you still have hopes and dreams! I will keep you in prayer!

  20. What a beautiful piece! I love that you are making a positive out of such a negative. I am still keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

  21. I was just speaking to a colleague about this very thing. My job involves so much talking and interaction that I really enjoy those rare moments of silence like driving in the car with the music off.

  22. Silence is Golden is what they say.. I love silence that lets me think and try to figure out what steps to take next.. I know good things lie ahead of you.. just keep on believin.. good things will come…

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