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The Gift of Quiet
Posted on: January 7, 2019
By Billy Peebles, Interim Head of School
My wife Penny, our daughter Sara, and I enjoyed such a pleasant Christmas and New Year’s break. It was pleasant in large part because we had lots of quiet, uninterrupted time together— time for talking, walking, listening, reading, and sharing ideas. At one point, Penny and Sara began assembling a 550 piece puzzle depicting the complicated landscape of a small seaside town on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Not having the patience or visual or imaginative acuity required for such an undertaking, I just joyfully watched my wife and daughter quietly collaborate in getting these 550 pieces in the right places over the course of many, many hours. With few words and lots of trial and error, they eventually got each piece but one in the correct spot. That one piece had been eaten in an unsupervised moment by our beloved but mischievous springer spaniel, Zeb!
Throughout this very focused endeavor, I was in awe of the quiet determination, the willingness to admit mistakes and learn from them, and the close cooperation ( but cooperation without much conversation) constantly demonstrated by Penny and Sara. And, I was reminded of the soothing and settling power of silence and solitude— qualities that can serve to bring out the best in us.
In this new year— even as we all are surrounded by the ever-present and often times fragmenting distractions of modern day life— let us all commit ourselves to seeking out those quiet moments that give us such healthy and profound opportunities to reflect, to renew, to imagine, to deepen relationships, to solve problems and puzzles, to help us be our best, whole selves.