Welcome to this month’s guest blogger, Sharon Geleta (with permission from her friend): ‘On a ‘walk and talk’ session with a friend last week we ventured along the towpath after a particularly stormy night in London, thinking through a real challenge that she was facing. The river was high, the path was very muddy and there were branches and leaves strewn across our way. We spoke and I listened, but for much of the time we were silent as we navigated our way as best we could, so as not to slip or step into a muddy puddle, but also just visually taking in the messy scene before us.

Under one of the bridges, the path was totally flooded and we could not go on in the direction we had planned. I turned to her to suggest we go back, when I saw a ‘look’ on her face, and so I stood still and allowed the moment to continue for an extended period. It was in that silence that the work was done!

While I don’t know what happened in her head, and don’t need to know, she shared bits. She said comparing her current situation to the path we were walking and then coming to the crucial point where we could not go on as planned, but had options for other paths, was a moment of clarity and liberation for her. She stood for a good couple of minutes, clearly thinking deeply and then announced that ‘she was done.’ I knew that I didn’t need to ask her anything else.

What has stayed with me over the past few days as I’ve reflected on our walk is how significant and important that silence was … it was the silence that spoke the loudest.’

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