Today I woke up to about 4-5 inches of fresh, powdery snow covering the scenery out my apartment window. Formulating my plan for the day, I settled on hunting for a few nearby geocache sites.
Once I was well into the trail, walking through the powder covered Vermont woodlands, I noticed the quiet. The noise of the road was well behind me, I was the only person around, and the only animal I heard for my hour long hike was a solitary bird, tweeting about for just under a minute. Far from seeming oppressive or odd, the silence was comforting. The only sounds I heard: my winter gear rustling as I walked, and the soft, almost imperceptible fall of the snow from the trees to the ground. Sugar, being poured into the bowl of the forest floor.
My thoughts usually would have jumped from this idea of peaceful silence to the noise and distractions of modern life, how we as a society should work to separate ourselves from the many diversions which vie for our attention. But they did not. Instead, I noted the peaceful quiet, paused to appreciate it, and moved on. This, my friends, is progress toward a more present and peaceful life.