September 06, 2010

The Sound of Silence

My firstborn went off to college this week. Confidently making her way into her new world, while leaving us behind to discover our own. Oh how I miss her. Luckily, we've all been partly broken in over here by her having taken a gap year last year to travel.  But still, there is something more permanent about her leaving this time. Something a little more, I don’t know what…I guess it’s just sadness.

It strikes me how quickly the child rearing years pass by. I wish I could  have young ones around me forever.

I finally read the wonderful Eat, Pray, Love when she was away this past year and just saw the movie which I didn’t have high expectations for but ended up liking- especially the gorgeous cinematography and many of the very profound messages, particularly about letting ourselves experience the quiet in our lives, the silence. I especially like this quote from the author, Elizabeth Gilbert:

“The resting place of the mind is the heart. The only thing the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise and argument, and all it wants is quietude. The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart. That's where you need to go.”

If your life is suddenly feeling quieter because you just dropped a child off at school you might enjoy what I think is a great story on the subject titled The Bridge, written by fabric designer & writer Anna Maria Horner.  Thank you to Cathy for sending this in.

Also, below is a clip of Simon and Garfunkel singing The Sound of Silence at the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concert in Madison Square Garden this past October.  


  1. Oh Louise,

    This is a beautiful heartfelt note about the feelings you are experiencing as your daughter goes off to collge.

    It is a change that is difficult for us as parents.

    We spend 18 or so years loving, protecting and caring for our children.

    Then in a moment we are suppose to let them go so they can spread their wings and soar into their own.

    This is a time where you can reflect in the silence on the joy of motherhood and the immense love connection with your daughter.

    I love this part of the quote by Elizabeth Gilbert.
    "The only time the mind will ever find peace is in the silence of the heart".

    The heart is where we find that love to carry us through the day as we remember the strength of motherhood and our love connection with our children.

    My heart is with you Louise!

    Sending you all my love!


  2. Oh Lou, this is beautiful. I feel for you...your sadness, your letting go, the adjustment of it all. I don't even want to think about next year when Kelley goes...

    I love Elizabeth Gilbert, and yes, she had some very profound quotes in her book. I enjoyed the movie too...there is so much to learn from her writing if we just sit long enough to take it all in.

    Beautiful post, Louise. Thank you for sharing, dearheart:)

  3. Thanks Maria and Cindy. The passage of having children flee the nest has of course been going on for parents we all know that it is forthcoming but I think no matter who we are, or what we've done or are currently doing, it makes us all stop and realize that having our offspring leave really marks a new beginning for us, as well as for them. It calls upon us to redefine ourselves. It is shocking to me that I am old enough to have my kid leave and that I will soon be done, or almost done, raising my kids. It changes the framework of who I have known myself to be the last 19 years. I've moved up a notch in aging. Kind of like how many people feel when they have lost a parent. It's not all sad, there is certainly celebration too thankfully.