Another Story from Roland Walls

I  read this as I was preparing my sermon. It comes from a chap called Roland Walls who lives in the Community of the Transfiguration at Roslin, outside Edinburgh. I met him years ago and he is one of the most extraordinarily cheerful and laid back chaps you could hope to meet, but is now apparently quite frail. He was talking about silence.

Walls writes: “And a last point about silence which I think is very interesting. Living creatures of the vegetable and insect variety – I know this could be very sentimental, and sometimes is – become extremely important in silence. It is an extraordinary thing that they begin to have space to be noticed, and a spider or an earwig, or anything that’s moving in one of those huts  becomes absolutely precious. You know you are sharing your life with that little thing, in a way that you would not normally notice the blooming thing. I would go further in my crazy way: I think I have communication with insects in silence. For example there is a spider who is a terrible nuisance because he will come to where I am sleeping at night and you sometimes have to brush him off. Well now, I tell that spider : ‘that’s your end’, and I think he knows it now because he stays there. In other words this empathy stuff reaches an intensity which is quite surprising. There are gifts in silence”.

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