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One Square Inch of Silence

October 1, 2010

During our “God of Dirt” Adult Ed discussions, we’ve often found ourselves comparing notes with one another on how we each find ways to commune with God in nature. And in this modern world, that can be very hard to do. It certainly doesn’t happen “naturally.” We have to make some effort to carve the time and space into our lives to connect with God’s created order. Along those lines, I just read about an interesting project that was begun in 2005 in Olympic National Park in Washington state–it’s called “One Square Inch of Silence.” A small swath of the Olympic forest is being totally shielded from all noise pollution–no airplanes flying overhead, no cars and trucks rumbling nearby, just the sound of natural silence. Visitors are invited to hike there, but are asked to be respectful of what I imagine to be an awfully sacred space, a natural cathedral. As the website for the project states:

The publication of the location of One Square Inch increases the likelihood of visitation by hikers. Your visit is encouraged. Please be quiet. It is the belief of this organization that the need for quiet and the power of quiet will foster the care needed to preserve this site. At the site is the Jar of Quiet Thoughts, a depository of notes left by visitors. You are welcome to read and add to the Jar. Please respect that these are quiet thoughts from a quiet place—no quotes from the Jar are allowed.

Here’s a clip regarding the project from the documentary, “Soundtracker” about a man who makes recordings of natural soundscapes:

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