Our culture has an uncomfortable relationship with silence.
When the Maple of old closed for business, it stood still, in utter silence, for months. All you could hear was the wind, or the turkey, or the geese, or the swan.
Occasionally, the potently foreign sound of a truck would pass by, often loaded up to fish or to track mountain lions. The hum of that engine would almost snap you out of a trance and remind you, just for a second, that there is existence beyond this canyon.
The silence was simultaneously both confronting and calming. It also seemed to toy with our sense of time and space. Some cultures embrace this. Ours tends to run from it.
When we opened, we were so afraid that this hidden silence would be lost forever. Next to the water itself, it seemed to be serving up a great deal of healing.
But we learned that the land tends to orient those on it toward that natural state. Almost as if the silence found during closure was now so loud that everyone took note.
By no means are we a silent experience, per se. There is a time and place for laughter, music, and fascinating conversations. But, we do believe that silence plays a part, at times, in this experience and that sometimes that part takes a leading role.
We now observe a ritual out here we call "Silence after Sundown." All nightly guests enjoy 24-hour access to our waters but with an important invitation to play an active role in protecting the calming, grounding, confronting, and ultimately healing sound of silence between 10 pm–8 pm.
Everyone can observe the physical restoration of this land and community, but the social restoration isn't one to just be observed. It must also be heard.