The face of Connemara, Fr. Brendan was fond of saying, changes with the light.
The first night we got there, I took for granted the light, open sky, mostly free of clouds. The light from the dwindling sun gently lit up the mountains of the national park in our front yard. We sat on a bench near a boggy pond and watched the light trickle down the sides of the mountains.
It was a quiet night, without any weather or wind. As we ceased talking, the world around us settled into silence. No bird interrupted the night with their song, no pine marten rustled through the reeds. Only the bats fluttered overheard, their supersonic cries falling deaf on our ears.
In the uncanny, hypernatural calm, some daily tension felt relieved. The exterior and interior world reached an equilibrium of quiet. The peace inside of me was matched by the silence of the environment surrounding me. The quiet of organs working, heart beating, soul searching, was reflected in the quiet of water evaporating, plants growing, and clouds moving. Unused to such a muted world, my cochleae felt pressure, like they were underwater. My ears began to ring slightly with all the silence. But I felt a stillness that was as comforting as warm summer air on bare skin. It's the comfort of being of a piece with the world around you, no need to adjust to your surroundings, but being naturally at one with them.
The mountains stood silently, beckoning us to immobility and quiet.