A Letter to Silence and Solitude

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Dear Silence and Solitude,

I miss you.

Over the past few years I have seen our time together dwindle. From long periods a few years back, to now brief glimpses of each other, sweet moments that are far between.

Our time together has been invaded by four sweet and energetic children who are under the age of five, and they do not appreciate the time that we sometimes need. Their schedules do not overlap to allow us to steal moments together, let alone the hour or so of luxury we once knew.

We used to have time together praying, attending church, reading, emailing friends, leisurely completing chores or merely doing whatever we wanted. Hey, we even used to have thinking time together!

But now, these far and in between moments are taken with rushed moments of cleaning the house as quickly as possible, doing jobs that can’t be done with small people around or I am guilty of taking moments that I need with you to fill with another type of noise, the noise of social media or trashy television that tune me out from the world.

I have to admit, I have times that I become jealous of you with others. I am envious of the people around me who get to go home to greet you and choose what they would like to do at any given moment of the day. I wonder what you and my husband get up to together and worst of all, I hold it against him.

I know that I am blessed now to be surrounded by this noise and life. That often you can both be worst enemies to people, as well as best friends. That this time is precious time that will pass quickly.

But to me, right now I need you. When I am worn and tired, when my head hurts and my body aches as I have never experienced before, when I need time with Jesus to fill me up, yet I am overtaken with noise and demands of my family and have no choice but to carry on. However much my mind and body are fighting me. With love and joy.

Noise and I are getting better at working together. I have even learnt to nap whilst sitting up and being half aware of what children are up to! As I am gaining more energy and my youngest baby gets bigger we are working better at managing. I’m slowly improving at finding Jesus in my outlook and amongst the chaos that surrounds me and the clutter and dullness that often seems to fill my mind.

I hope that we can work on finding some moments together. Moments where perhaps I will even feel refreshed or energetic. Where I can begin to have my own interests or hobbies again.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder huh? I think when that time comes, I will never appreciate you more.

I hope to see you sometime soon,

Young Mother

Chelsea Houghton

Chelsea Houghton

Chelsea Houghton is editor of Restless Press, as well as a columnist for Catholic Stand, Ignitum Today and NZ Catholic. a 27 year old mother who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand with her husband and four children under the age of five. She has a Media and Communications degree from the University of Canterbury and in the past has worked for the Journey of the Cross and Icon for World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, for the Christchurch Catholic Youth Team and running the Theology of the Body for Teens programme and training to various groups.

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