I read somewhere recently that you can tell who is married at a pub or restaurant – it’s the couple that aren’t talking to each other. While it’s funny, it’s also true – but perhaps not for the reason intended!
I love going for walks in the countryside with my husband. We talk about things occasionally, but most of the time is spent in silence. It is a companionable silence – where words aren’t necessary to share the experience. Sometimes it is simply enough to be with someone without words – words can spoil a brilliant moment, such a sunrise, or making love, holding a sleeping kitten.
It is in these moments where we can be with another person without there being a need – we are simply there, together, experiencing a shared moment without asking anything of the other. There are no demands to be made, no attention to be sought – all there is, is shared experience. It is gloriously freeing.
I have often said that my two best friends are my cats, who simply enjoy sharing company with me for no other reason than sometimes it’s nice to be together. They will sit with me outside or inside in the same room, without making demands (apart from the odd cuddle that they come up and ask for, willingly given). We spend most of our day in silence, which is bliss. Much like the walks with my husband, we are not asking for anything in return. And when we’ve had enough, we can retreat to separate rooms to be back in our own space.
There can be so many demands made upon us – at times it is wonderful just to have a shared moment like this. That couple in the pub who aren’t talking – they’re probably happier than the young couple struggling to make conversation to ease their moment of experience. Silence is golden.