Laban Rata: the final pit stop before summit. I found the sound of silence in one of the room there.
Low’s Peak from below
I first heard the sound of silence when I climbed Mt Kinabalu. Perched up 3,270 metres above sea level at Laban Rata, I woke up in the middle of the night and the silence was so deafening. Amongst the snores of other climbers who were lost in their sleep, and the mere sounds of waterfalls cascaded from Low’s Peak, I heard silence; peaceful, solitary and mysterious. The best thing about silence is the opportunity to reflect. On that particular night, 3,270 metres above sea level, I reflected on so many things; people around me, works, friends, experience, effort, strength and so many things left unsaid in my life. In a span of less than an hour, I realizes, no matter how beautiful silence is, I refuse to define myself with silence. Silence is too pregnant with so many bottled expressions; forever unsaid, forever hanging and forever lost in the sound of nothingness. I do not want silence to become my only choice in life. I want a voice to speak but I also need silence as an option, when words fail me. However, I choose silence as my companion on that night and I felt strangely at ease to silently share my anxiety on tomorrow’s climb. It was weird, but somehow I felt comforted by silence. Comforted from the worries of tomorrow and was content in the moment, cuddled warmly with silence. It was long after that night that I found silence again. In fact, I rarely find silence in my everyday life. Even in my sleep on my daily life, I find no trace of silence. There are always hum of that day thinking, or voices of tomorrow. I believe, there are times when we need our moment of silence. Perhaps I need to climb again, so that I will be standing among the mountains and perhaps then, silence will come and embrace me as if we are two long lost friends.