Quiet is truly amazing. It’s the absence of noise. It’s serene, simple, and certainly hard to find in the big city. It’s beautiful and profound.

When is the last time you heard the sound of one hand clapping? Quiet bowled me over last weekend at Zapata Ranch, a 100,000 acres of working bison ranch owned by the Nature Conservancy near the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. Give me land, lots of land under starry skies above. Don’t fence me in. 

Life is stressful enough without being constantly bombarded by the never-ending noise in an election year filled with constant bickering, anger, fear and mud slinging. Combined with daily traffic jams, work deadlines, non-stop email and mindless social media chatter that seems to always demand our attention, our noisy universe is enough to make even the most patient, easy-going person among us stand out on the street and yell “Quiet!!!!!” In the immortal words of Popeye, “I’ve had all I can stands and I can’t stands no more.”

Whether we find it at the beach or in the mountains or in our own backyard, we all need some wide-open spaces. We all need some place we can unplug, detach, unwind and recharge. For me, it was being on a horse surrounded by wildlife far away from houses, cars, people and TV. It was, as the kids say, awesome.

Many Jews will experience that same feeling of awe in synagogues around the world tomorrow as we observe Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It’s a day of fasting, prayer and reflection when we detach for 24-hours from the things that are not really that important in our lives. It’s a day of renewal. It’s a day filled with the sound of silence.

As a Denver public relations pro, my job is to help my clients find that ability to renew and recharge when things grow stale. To be able to realize that sometimes it’s good to step aside or step away in order to move ahead. That sometimes you need to pause and take a deep breath before you try and take another step forward.  That’s not an easy task, but it’s something I now understand we can all accomplish.

L’shana tova (to a good year). May it be a time of peace, health, happiness, contentment and renewal for you and for those you love.