Shelter from the Sun

Shelter from the Sun

Shelter from the Sun © 2011 Bo Mackison

Silence is never merely the cessation of words . . .
Rather it is the pause that holds together–
indeed, it makes sense of–
all the words, both spoken and unspoken.

Silence is the glue that connects our attitudes and our actions.
Silence is the fullness, not emptiness;
it is not absence, but the awareness of a presence.

~John Chryssavgis

Today is a day of catching-up.

Today is the day I stop procrastinating and finally cross off those two items on my to-do list that I write over and over every day. Today is laundry day and there are five piles of sorted laundry waiting for me. Today is scrub the kitchen floor day. Today is a quick weed the garden day. Today is clean out the refrigerator day.

Today I am embarking on my first afternoon of silence.

This is a plan I hope to make a weekly occurrence throughout the fall. No talking, no phone calls, no text messages, no voice mails, no emails, no computer, no radio, no iPod.

Only the natural quiet.

There will be noises from the neighborhood, birds chirping at the feeders, Jazz meowing to go in or out (wherever it is she isn’t at the moment is where she wants to be.) There is a building project several blocks away and I can hear the hammers pounding.

I have chores that have piled up, I will be busy.

I’m curious to see how mindful I can be of those activities — cleaning, laundry, sweeping, gardening. How hard will it be for me to concentrate on what I am doing for the next four hours?


About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Simply beautifully captured shot…lovely!

  2. Curious as to what has inspired the weekly period of silence. I like the line “Silence is the fullness, not emptiness”

  3. Joanne Keevers says:

    That’s a very inviting shelter from the sun, Bo, and very much a place that I would be drawn to visiting.

    My prediction with your silent time is that you will indeed be very productive and find concentrating on your chores to be very easy. There’s a lot to be said for the power in silence. 🙂 Let us know how you go.

  4. good luck with all the work, and after that: RELAX!!

  5. Such a beautiful study of shadow and light. Lovely scene and capture!

  6. How’d it go?

    I’ve been chopping peppers in silence this afternoon. Usually I have the radio on, but today I decided to turn things off and be in the moment. It brought to mind sacred cooking, something I read about years ago, wherein you bless and infuse the food you’re preparing with love and gratitude.

    I don’t remember ever finding the peppers as beautiful as I did this afternoon. They taste pretty darn good too. 🙂

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I love the idea of sacred cooking–infusing your food with love and gratitude.

      It’s not quite the same with dirty clothes and sticky floors, but in a way, I did do something similar. As I did the laundry, I tried to be mindful of the clothes I was washing, examining for wear or stains, etc. Deciding if this was a garment I wanted to keep or if it was one I could share.

      As for the floor, well, I am certainly grateful that I have a warm, dry floor and so I rather enjoyed scrubbing. There is something routine and relaxing about a back and forth scrubbing, and I felt really grounded on my hands and (padded) knees!

      The weeding was much easier–I am more in my element in the garden compared to indoors.

      But it went well. It was long, I may re-adjust and do 2-3 hours next week, although if I combined it with a walk in the woods it would probably go easier too.

      Thanks for asking!

  7. Interesting, Bo. I do believe we ARE on the same path. I do this as well, in some shape or format, but in the mornings before the hubs awakens. Rising at 5-5:30am, a walk, then home for coffee and puttering in the quiet. Pre-dawn is bliss, peace, quiet, birds and breezes. “Sacred Cooking,” sounds delightful as well. Love your imagery coupled with these thoughts. Sounds like you had a grand, peaceful, productive afternoon!

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