By Laurel Reader-Taatjes, TIWP Student

There’s a gentle beauty in silence. The emptiness after something stops. The tension before it begins.

But this silence is different.

Not exactly silent, not really. Sounds weave their way through it, like moonlight through a trees branches. This silence isn’t gentle, it isn’t oppressive or even anticipatory.

This silence is sad. Slight sounds echo through the shadows. A rustle of leaves, the tap of footsteps, darkness settling on the ground. A dark hall. Every moment, a shadow. Moving through the silence, the darkness, the sad, lonely night. A whispering beam of moonlight through the gloom, touching a vaulted ceiling.

Gloom, and the saddest silence. A window pane, frosted with ice and tears. Outside a cluster of icicles hangs from a tree. The only silver thing in a black night. The silence shifts, sounds seep through. A branch, a leaf, a cloud, floating on its way. Darkness and silence. So heavy, that sadness, a cloud, falling down. So sad, nobody can breathe through it. So heavy, nobody can stand under it. So silent, nothing more to say. Sad silence, heartbroken heavy silence.

Then, a breeze comes. The outside air is cold, but it washes sadness away. A thin layer of ice on the ground cracks, shattering into shards that glimmer. Yet another silver detail.

And now, back to silence. This silence isn’t that kind of sad. It’s haunting like the ghosts that dance in the silver pieces of the night. Haunting, heartbroken, but also beautiful. Beautiful in a dark way, like a shadow on tear stained stones. Beautiful, like the branches of trees, black against a star lit sky.

Hauntingly beautiful, like this night. Not good, not bad, but both in a intriguing melody. Not exactly dark not exactly light. Not exactly black, but not exactly white.

That all can be read in a moment of silence. Silence has a gentle beauty, a ease with which it carries itself to us.

Just listen, every silence tells a story.

Just listen, every silence has a memory to share.

Just listen, in nothing, there can sometimes be everything.

Silence, like that night. Small sounds, darkness, and that austere beauty of knowing that nothing is happening that is really in your control. To leave the world, the silence, and the night to chance.

To follow moonlight to its grave and rise again with the sun.

There is always a beauty in silence.

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