QUIETUDE! by Linda Hales


“Listen to your own voice, your own soul…too many people listen to the noise of the world, instead of themselves.” -Leon Brown

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines quietude as “the state of being quiet or calm.”  I can’t conceive of a more precious condition to achieve…quietude being my ultimate goal.  In this desirable state, I am able to keep my inner circle nearby yet securely locked within electronic media.  As a ‘mocial butterfly’ more or less, I can engage with my friends and family any time of the day or night and cherish all of the babes and little children and even follow them as they grow.  Yes, I have all of this and don’t even need to step outside, tidy my house or make them a cup of tea or coffee to enjoy their presence.  Seriously, for me this is the best of all worlds.  I have choices…live life through this perspective or venture out to savor the real deal.  I do both but invariably retreat to my cave of quietude.

Long ago, I lived an activity filled and rather noisy life.  I like to think that I tried it all but did it with far more ease and enterprise than I could ever muster up today.  By this I mean that I now get to choose what and with whom I wish to become involved with—activities, associates and my friends.  Oh yes, it is so much better this way for me.

It wasn’t easy getting to this juncture in my life.  The transition came none too soon and was imperfect at best.  Looking back, I seemed to have always experienced a longing for peace and solitude but rarely had the opportunity to actualize it.  Life was too busy, hectic and threw too many curve balls to let me relax, slow down and smell the roses.  Add families, numerous career moves, illnesses, divorces…yes there were two…and that yearning for quietude continued to grow ever stronger.

Now, on a good day, reflecting on pleasant memories, maintaining my digital communication or even writing are among the choices I make as the mood moves me.   Resurrecting unpleasant events is not my favorite thing to do but when I must, it is most satisfying to recall the positive aspects such as lessons learned and the good people who were part of the story.  For instance, just recently, I reflected on my second divorce, far more painful than the first, though when examined through a fresh set of lenses, I now consider that whole ordeal to have been a remarkable learning experience and one that set me on the path to becoming a self-sufficient and self-actualized individual.  So I slid out my keyboard and set about describing some fulfilling experiences that my ex and I shared together.  He gets full credit for contributing a wonderful dimension to my life experience. This is what I wrote:

Travel with me to Saskatchewan where you can see animals in herds for miles across the prairies.  And I do mean ‘see’ for miles because the land is so flat.  A trained eye will recognize them at a distance by their shape and form.  I remember goose hunting there in October one year when the snow and freezing temps came early.  Elk were out in great numbers while we wore our eider down snow suits and covered up with white bed sheets so as not to be spotted by low flying geese in search of grain stubble to feed upon.  Now that was a memorable vacation.  

Back home, my ex was a deputy conservation officer in his spare time.  We built our house on the edge of the deer run about 60 miles north of the city.  Deer would often leap the boundary and show up in my back yard, enabling me to enjoy my morning coffee while observing them from my breakfast nook. 

Yes, I recall so well the many times that he and I ventured out to live life to the fullest…living on our boat, both flat line and sport fishing, travelling for months on end and experiencing every square inch of the east coast from New Hampshire to Key West and back up the sunshine coast, through the panhandle and over to Brownsville, Texas.  Such was life with this outdoorsman who shared my need for adventure for a brief and important period in my life.

 Lindas_photos_3_72dpiLindas_photos_4_72dpi A lot of miles went into that two month trip and the good memories will always outweigh the sadness of breaking away from it all.

Moving forward, I responded to my growing yen for a busier way of life and pursued my career in marketing communications and services.  I discovered my love of writing and dreamed about doing it someday for my own pleasure when time and solitude would permit.  It would be fifteen years of exciting growth, travel and skills development before that dream would finally become a reality.  Those were wonderful years but in my mind, I had done it all…at least all I wanted or felt the need to do.

In the end, that quiet life presented itself in just the right way and at the right time.  I may have retired in the conventional sense but in my heart and soul, quietude has permitted me to retread.  As Stephen Hawking once said, “Quiet people have the loudest minds. When that happens, writing is the perfect way to quiet it down!

Meaningful quotes that reflect a quiet state of mind…

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” -Douglas Adams

“To create one’s own world takes courage.” -Georgia O’Keeffe

“The only journey is the one within.” -Rainer Maria Rilke

“Be silent, or say something better than silence.” –Pythagoras

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” -Guillaume Apollinaire

“You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” –Kafka

“Silence is the mother of truth.” -Benjamin Disraeli


Linda Hales is retired and devotes her time to writing in various genres for both freelance and pleasure.  Her greatest passion is writing motivational stories for young children.  Linda has two Sunshine books, an Activity Story Book and Andy-Roo which was recently awarded the 2013 Kart Kids Book List award for Creative Storytelling.   Learn more about Linda and her books at:

Website:  http://www.linnieslittlebooks.com.

All books are available on Amazon

And Clayton Bye’s Online Store

© Linda Hales 2013

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23 thoughts on “QUIETUDE! by Linda Hales

  1. Rosemary "Mamie" Adkins

    Another wonderful piece Linda Hales. Not manny stop and listen to their own hearts let alone their minds. A quiet place to draw from inside the spirit and become all things that are meant to be. Without that silence within, you may have never heard the calling that brought you back to where you have always wanted to be.

    Isn’t life wonderful when you have that quietude within? Your life seems to have been full with all the noise one makes as a younger person but now its time for you!

    Thank you for sharing your life and its circle of events which brought all of us an authors voice so worth reading.

  2. Delinda

    Thanks for a story that reflects my own journey in many ways. My travels were of a different kind, but it is good to stop and sit among my gardens and listen to the silence.

  3. Nancy Miller

    Thank you for the post. I love the pictures of fish and boating as well as your quotes and descriptions of the quiet life. I too have slowed down and sometimes feel guilty about choosing what is best for me: health, self-expression, writing, and coaching. It takes time. I want to rush to finish the next book, but it takes time to create the way I would like. Your words are an inspiration.

  4. Martha Love

    Linda, you have beautifully written and shown us that there are just so many things we miss if we do not take time to reflect and find the positive in our past experiences with people and places. I love quiet rainy days because they force me to stay home and listen to the silence within. I suspect the snow storms have been fostering with people much quiet reflection!

  5. Harmlessjoyce (Joyce Elferdink)

    It has been said that every facet of our lives is necessary to lead us to the next. Without each period–and person–we would be trying to reach the next plateau with some rungs of our stairway missing. How difficult–and dangerous–that would be. Linda, you’ve shown us through the vivid telling of your memories that this is the truth. Our personal stories merge into the great story of life on Earth, and we are all blessed by that recognition when another story arrives. Today it is yours!

  6. Marta Merajver-Kurlat

    Your well-penned and oh so accurate piece reminded me of the saying “still waters run deep.” You speak about true introspection, and it’s wonderful to learn that what many of us self-help writers and others have preached for so long seems to be a natural life-saving instinct. What an admirable way to find your inner balance! Dear Linda, thank you for a valuable life lesson.

  7. Linda hales

    Dear friends! I can’t tell you how pleased I am that my piece resonated so well with each of you. At first, I wasn’t completely comfortable that it would have general appeal or speak my message as clearly as I had intended but it seems to have done just that. Thank you all for kindness and support.

  8. Sharla

    Quietude. Tranquility. Serenity. All of these are indeed so important to a well-balanced life. I find this especially true in the mornings when so often time I wish time would simply stand still. The need to steal away for quiet moments brings us closer to God, as well as loved ones. The quiet times do not entail simply abandonment of “outside” noise but also the “inner” noise that so often tries to shift our thoughts onto a different track or simply derail altogether. Thank you, Linda, for sharing such an insightful post that leaves one with a lot of food for thought!

  9. Micki Peluso

    Dear Linda,
    Thank you for an informative, well-written piece that has been discussed and taught by great men and women for centuries, yet it is still hard to truly grasp and maintain. It’s incrediby simplistic, yet almost impossible to attain. In my noise-filled, often chaotic life, I have searched for it through the great philosophers, the bible, yoga and every meditation known to man. My mind races constantly and is difficult to shut down, with a tendency to worry and catastrophize over things that may or may not happen. Quietude, which I finally found in two words has finally found a home within my psyche. The two words are: “I AM”.

    1. Linda hales

      Aha! Dr. Wayne Dyer would agree with you on that Micki. Thanks for your comment and I hope you achieve the acceptance that it really is okay to just be yourself and the rest just doesn’t matter in the total scheme of things. We will land where we need to be when we have dealt with all unfinished business.

  10. Barbara Neish

    I am typing 13 above – I trust the site knows that ? Only the 3 is showing . . ?
    Yes, Ms Linda – there is no doubt we are related – we are peas in a pod
    There is no company I enjoy more than my own – being alone does not mean, being all alone, when there is so much learning left to discover. It is all right there at the click of a mouse. My only regret is that I do not have another lifetime to live. I am so curious to know ‘what comes next’ – hate that I will not see the calendar turn to the year 3000 . . . . ~!~
    Cousin Barbara

  11. Clayton Bye

    Oh Linda
    I was stunned when I learnt that you had lost your daughter. Many times there were questions I wanted to ask. Asking, I felt, however, might appear as prying and replies too much to expect. Now I know the complete story and it has touched me as if it all happened just yesterday. One bit of joy I learned, from your writing, is that you had those 6 precious years and that Tammy and Nick had them too. I just know that with every Chapter you add in your Children Books, you are spending time with Tammy with every word and every line. She will be with you always and that is how is should be.
    Cousin Barbara

  12. Christine Murchison

    I read your Quietude, like reading a good book, I wanted to see the end, but when it came I was sorry the story was over. While reading it, I searched my memories of my one and only divorce way back in 1961, just prior to the birth of our beloved Scott. I, just about forever, would never give my ex credit for anything, but your story made me think. Yes, he did give me something, he gave me the courage to go on without much support from him, to become a mother whose only choice in life, at the time, was to make sure my children were brought up in a proper way, to become the self reliant, hard-working, and lovely people they are to this day. So now, after your wonderfully written story, I know there was a reason, first, to be married to my ex and, secondly, to be divorced from him. Since you know my whole family, you must agree that, even though it was challenging for many years, it has been the most worthwhile time, so far, in my life. Thanks for stirring my memories up!

    1. linniescorner

      Wow Christine – so glad that I stirred up your memories in a good way. Yes, you have an amazing family and we are all so much richer for being placed in one another’s path.

    1. linniescorner

      Nice thought Cyn – not all memories are beautiful but if we care to look at the bigger picture of them, it’s amazing what pleasant thoughts fall out. It’s quite revealing and a blessing to have this way to overcome the trials of life.


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