The Garden Muse —Autumn silence

Published 11:31 am Friday, September 30, 2022

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Autumn is in the air. A season of slowing down, enjoying the harvest, and resting the senses. A prequel if you will to the coming winters long nights of rest, reflection and recharging of the soul.

In today’s fast paced world life can often seem overwhelming. When this happens, everyone can benefit from a brief pause of silence. Silence from the ever-present noise around us generated from traffic, electronics, appliances, machinery, media etc. and yes even other people.

Silence does not necessarily mean the absence of all audible sound. The body can experience a silence or a ‘quiet’ if you will by the omission of all high intensity, frenetic or offensive sounds. I like to take short walks out or doors in the Autumn air to experience silence. But a quiet break in a comfortable chair with a warm beverage indoors will do also.

A brief break of silence during the day benefits the body in many ways. It can lower blood pressure, improve one’s concentration & focus, calm racing thoughts, decrease stress by reducing cortisol/adrenaline levels, stimulate creativity, and encourage mindfulness. I will never forget what a wonderful thing my employer did while I worked at a major hospital by installing quiet meditation gardens on the campus grounds. The number of employees as well as patients and their families that benefited from them in the form of wellness exceeded their expectations.

The fresh Autumn air has a certain relaxing intoxication to it. It smells fresh, feels calm, and sounds serene. Science has shown amazing rejuvenating effects on the human brain by taking just a five-minute break of silence during the day.

Nature is such a colorful canvas of beauty this time of year, I say take that silent stroll or meditative break out of doors in the autumn sunshine your mind, body and soul will benefit.

Dawn Conrad is a Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener, Herbal enthusiast, Writer and Fiber Artist. She can be contacted at