When I remember my last visit with Thomas Merton I see him standing in the forest, listening to the rain. Much later, when he began to talk, he was not breaking the silence, he was letting it come to word. And he continued to listen. “Talking is not the principal thing” he said.
This participant used the phrase the liturgy of nature to describe the image invoked by these words. It was as if the way Merton observed and spoke was in harmony (letting silence come to word) with the great mystery of nature which he had become a part of and which was in full and natural reverence to God's presence.
We also spent time talking about the real difficulty in simplifying our lives is letting go of our attachments (to fears, to memories/sentiments, to other things that define us). We made the comparison to Contemplative prayer which requires us to let go of our attachments to doing (actively praying) and simply allowing ourselves to be in God's presence. We discussed that the grace God gives us as we age is that we are forced to simplify more and more as we ultimately come to the state of just being. At the end of our lives our attachments to the things of our lives and to the activity of our prayers are let go and we are left in a state of just being before God.