A sign on each table in the abbey guesthouse
dining room reads: ‘Silence is spoken here’, and
so at dinner we gesture wordlessly after salt or
signal with our hands for more water or bread.

Hour by hour we settle into the comfort of this
unfamiliar discipline, an island in the sea of talk
from which we’d come, a silent refuge in this
word-drenched world that is too much with us.

Day by day the stillness roots in us more deeply,
at first a hum in the mind, and then with time
the place for a truer listening, a quiet call of
all that lives and breathes beneath our speech.