Their independent living apartment was at the back of the property. A birdhouse stood in their bit of backyard divided from empty fields by a chain link fence. It was usually quiet enough to hear the flutter of the bird’s wings as they arranged moss in their nest. In the afternoon, the silence was split by military planes flying back to their Naval base.
In contrast, our neatly kept green backyard is noisy with the sounds of traffic from the 4 lanes on the other side of our privacy fence.
Our office sits on a busy street where road construction never seems to end and sirens blare past on a regular basis.
Is there a store or restaurant anywhere that doesn’t play music constantly? It seems we can’t escape an unwanted soundtrack for our daily life.
I was raised in a house where the t.v. supplied background noise. It was always on. Even if no one was watching it.
It seems to provide a comforting white noise for some. Or maybe it’s just a way to protect ourselves from a silence that asks us to listen.
The inside of my in-law’s apartment was as quiet as the outside. She would sit in the silence as her fingers worked the intricate cross-stitch designs. The tick of the kitchen clock seemed to be magnified by the silence. I don’t know how she could stand it. TICK – TICK – TICK – TICK….
Her Bible and devotionals were stacked nearby. I’m sure the words she’d read earlier in the day were the sounds she played in her mind as she worked in the quiet. She chose the sounds of truth over the noise of the world.
I’ve learned to appreciate the quiet more. To turn off the noises and open myself to what the heart needs to hear. I have a long way to go, but it seems to start with the sounds of silence.
What do you hear in the silence?
LInking up with Kate Motaung for Five-Minute Friday.