I believe that I understand at this moment what Thomas Merton wrote at dawn on a day a half-century ago about waking up. It is totally silent inside my house; everyone is sleeping still or again. (The coffee is made so someone was up before sunrise.) Outside is a different story. The mourning doves punctuate the conversation that is constant and loud – some would say cacophonous – among all the other birds large and small. And through it all the rooster reigns, splitting the silence with a voice that carries to the river and back again calling us all to wakefulness. “It is like the first morning of the world,” Merton writes, “when Adam, at the sweet voice of Wisdom, awoke from nonentity and knew her…” Only in silence, I think, is it possible to have such an experience. And so I will dress and go into the day, carrying with me the pure sounds of praise in the natural world, hoping to know the wakefulness that is available to me this day.