It snowed overnight where we live. I went out before sunrise to clean the snow off the cars and while I was alone in the darkness, I took this picture of the enormous pine tree on the side of our house. Yes, I still have the Christmas lights on the tree, and yes, I’ll probably leave them on the rest of the winter. 🙂 As I stood outside in the utter stillness and silence, I felt a sense of complete contentment. I reflected on how rarely there is absolute stillness and silence in my life and how beautiful the stillness is. I also reflected on the quality that stillness can bring to our writing. When there is stillness, there is a refreshing of the soul, and there are words that flow from that beautiful emptiness that flow from no other place within us. Silence is so often portrayed as a lonely and desolate place – but maybe we can shift our perspective – to instead, view stillness as a hallowed sanctuary from which beauty emerges.