The Way I See it: Silence can be golden

Michele Blais reminisces about special times with family and friends

Want to play catch?” A simple act of two people wearing baseball gloves and tossing a ball, softball or hardball what ever the preference. A timeless activity enjoyed by many over the years and will continue to be.

My oldest loves to play catch. He started playing with one of his good friends as a teen and never got to play with his dad and share that classic father/son experience, but he plays lots with his friends here and in Toronto. We played together on the big open field near his home. It’s about the conversation, he says, and he is right. We enjoyed a wonderful conversation about his life there while tossing and catching the baseball.

I was watching with a smile as he played catch with his good friend, a fellow whose friendship he has enjoyed for many years. They love to play and whenever together find time to do this simple act of throwing the baseball; reaching forward or catching it easily is a comfortable act for them.

It is their one-to-one time. They talk about what’s going on in their worlds, make jokes, share their ideas and dreams.  Sometimes they are quiet, just enjoying the silence of the moment, the sound of the ball hitting the leather glove, birds singing, just being present in the moment. Occasionally they like to over-throw to make the other work for it, all part of their camaraderie.

A game like catch, or a walk on the beach can help to make people relax, so they will converse and perhaps share what has been on their mind or troubling them. A safe non-threatening way to be together sharing something you enjoy, whether tennis or ice cream.

One-to-one time. I love that special time when you get to enjoy the company of someone exclusively.

As a parent with more than one child, any time one-to-one is special. I was one of six and that was very precious when we had our parents alone. I used to pretend I was sick in the afternoons and stay home with my dad, who was retired, and watch afternoon movies with him. Not every week, but sometimes. We would have hot chocolate together and sit side by side on the couch and sometimes one of us or both of us would fall asleep, safe in each other’s company. We also went to Montreal together every year on the train and that too was a very special time, having lunch in the dining car, sitting in the big comfy seats watching the world go by.

As our children get older and life gets hectic, grabbing those moments can be reduced to a drive in the car, a shared meal, night time chat or story before bed. Letting each other know how important we are and loved, and conversing about what is going on in their lives.  Scheduling dates can be difficult and letting the time happen spontaneously can be very rewarding.

Date night is important for couples as well, or the conversation at the end of the day when we share with the person who is the witness to our life, our triumphs and tragedies of the day, and laughable moments.

I love a big party and the chance to see many friends in one evening, and I know I will continue to host those. And I also so enjoy the time I get with one of my friends, whether we are going for a walk, to yard sales, having lunch, a bike ride, or however we choose to spend our time together is so pleasant.

The beauty of this time together sometimes is in the quiet, the comfort you feel when you are with a family member or friend, where you see why silence is golden.

Michele Blais is a longtime columnist at The Morning Star, who writes on a variety of topics, appearing every other Sunday.