Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Slice of Solace

Suddenly, the house is quiet.

The dog isn't barking. My 10-year-old and his friend are outside playing. The dryer isn't even humming. No airplanes are taking off or landing, and even the busy street is silent. The sun has finally made an appearance.

I will take these moments, whenever they come to me. Someday, I know, there will be great quantities of quiet in my life. The dog will be old and will have a hard time mustering up the desire to bark at the golfers across the street or the squirrel on the roof. I won't get phone calls every 10 minutes asking if today is a "uniform day" for American Heritage Girls or if I can chaperon at a dance or if I can be the carpool.

Five minutes: I timed the silence. The phone rings; the heat kicks on. I hear shouts and a loud bang outside. An airplane takes off, and the refrigerator begins a slight shudder. Predictably, the dog begins her fierce barking.

Just down the street my parents go through their day quietly, waiting for interruption. In their mid-80s, their days have a different kind of predictability, a steady diet of naps, meals, books. For 35 years my mother was immersed in the noise of raising a family, for another 25 her world was filled with the bustle of grandchildren and volunteering and traveling and shopping. And now they have come to the dichotomy of silence, the blessing, the curse.

For now, I'll take the slices as they come, and add to the noise by reprimanding the dog, loudly.

Linked up on Finer Things Friday


  1. You are so right. And this is why my mother cried for 2 days after we all moved back home the week after my surgery. (She may be 75 years old, but she still takes care of ME and mine most of the time! ;-)

    While it seems irritating much of the time, the noise of raising a family is like everything else in life: fleeting. We should appreciate it more and wish it away less. I can sure handle it better after I've had a little break, though!

  2. I always think I will enjoy some quiet time, then when it's too quiet for too long I get restless.

  3. Beautifully worded. Thank you for taking the time to share this thought :)

  4. Today (January 27), I turned 47 years old and in reading this, I considered how QUICKLY my life is passing. The solace sounds lovely, but at the same time, I'm NOT READY. Beautifully written, but a bit bittersweet. Sigh ...

  5. Great post! It is so true. I crave quiet time right now but not sure that I am ready for that silence.

  6. It was interesting to read this because the last few weeks I have been reminding myself of the same thing. I've been desperately craving silence but realizing at the same time these moments are more fleeting than they seem right now. Thank you for sharing such a well written post on this subject.

  7. Gee your so right! It seems like I will never get anything done...but one day I will have it all done and then what?

  8. I love the way you put it all in perspective...I need to appreciate my "noise" a little bit more.

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