In all the time I've been at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp, I've never quite adjusted to the accommodations. If that ever happens, I fear that I will have gone over the institutionalized edge; so hopefully it won't. One of the outcomes of housing 180 inmates in a facility designed for half that number is that it's never quiet. It's obvious many of the inmates and corrections officers have neglected to ponder Proverbs 17:28.

Silence may be golden, but it's also more than just the absence of noise. For some, like Alain Corbin, who wrote A History of Silence, it has substance. For others, it's where Elijah heard God's "gentle whisper" after the powerful storm, earthquake, and fire, recorded here.

Maybe silence is as the poet Rilke wrote "a medium through which we enter the hidden reality of things." If his words are true, and I believe they are, then silence can open us to the unknown or forgotten aspects of ourselves. That internal universe when unexplored can be scary, but it can also be where we meet face to face the Christ who is within us. It's not a coincidence that Jesus of Nazareth spent 40 days alone in the quiet of the wilderness and frequently sought solitude.

Silence can provide a meditative medium through which we not only acknowledge but begin to change who we are, to re-calibrate. It's a challenge to find it here, but it's worth the effort.