For some, taking time to leave the daily grind and get out into the undisturbed solitude of the wild outdoors can be greatly relaxing. The sounds of wind blowing through trees, water coursing, or birds chirping are all calming and inviting. The lack of noise, especially noises we hear all the time at home or at work, is refreshing.

One of my most favorite times that I appreciated this was during a camping trip in the desert. During one of the days of this trip we rode ATVs far out into the barren landscape. The entire area was fairly secluded in itself, and quite silent as a consequence. But I remember riding to a particular spot that was practically void of life, due to the extreme climate. At this spot we stopped to take a brake and stretch our legs. I remember the moment as soon as we shut down the ATVs, because the rumble from the engines was immediately replaced with complete silence. No wind, not even a breeze. No running water, no flys or bugs or animals of any kind, no airplanes flying overhead and no other people for many miles. Our movements and breathing became explicitly audible and footsteps sounded as though they were shaking the earth itself.

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It wasn’t eerie, but rather quite pleasurable. It seemed as though we were far away from anything and everything. It was blissful, almost like a state of meditation. We were there long enough to appreciate the relief of the gentle silence before continuing on our way. The experience was certainly memorable. It reminded me of the importance of stepping out of the ruckus of the daily grind every so often to take a breath and decompress a little.