Toddler bike seat, check.
Daughter with fluoro pink flower helmet, check.
Our destination: the mermaid park, or the Asian supermarket that sells cheap tofu.
On our adventures we whiz past a lot of different types of bike riders. There are the people that are terrific multi-taskers. These people can hold a surf board or dog or talk on the phone while riding their pushbikes (sometimes all three!). There are the serious bike riders that don the lycra and seem to have a lot of friends. And I shouldn't forget the trendy people with shiny vintage bikes.
Then there are the people who ride their bikes while listening to music.
Now riding to a beat might be enticing, but these bike riders can't hear cars or other bikes or people.
This observation led my toddler and I to develop a theory: people don't like silence.
Maybe there's a good reason for not liking silence. Silence is uncomfortable and awkward and can make us vulnerable. Silence isn't trendy. Or popular. And it's not particularly fun.
But noise is secure. Things that are noisy are fashionable; music and movies and charisma and parties. Noise is fun. Maybe that's why everywhere I go - from the supermarket to outdoor Yoga classes - noise is used to fill in silences.
The world definitely celebrates noise. And I don't blame it, personally I don't like silence much either.
For much of my life I've thought of silence as a problem to be solved, a pain to be drowned out. I feared silence. I've even come up with many ways to block out silence (which at one point included a waterproof radio for the shower). And in the most horrid and significant moments of my life I've had a tendency to break silences with the most senseless noises; meaningless words, weak television shows…
But at some point, not too long ago, I realised silence is okay.
'Silence is the music of the universe' an unknown mystic once wrote.
Most religions celebrate silence. For thousands of years mystics from all different religions and philosophies have chosen silence. Some mystics have lived, and continue to live, in solitude. Alone in the woods or deserts, sometimes for years or even decades at a time, they don't talk to another person.
To such people silence is the path to discovery. In silence they search for whatever they desire to find, be it, the inner soul, the meaning of life, love, peace, God…
The Bible says God is discovered in silence; 'Be still and know that I am God' (Psalms 46 verse 10).
I think mystics are right, silence is special.
Danielle Stott lives on the Gold Coast. She has a degree in Theology and is now training to be a Social Worker. She is married and has a two year old daughter and two sons who live in heaven.
Danielle's archive of articles can be viewed at