My world is filled with some kind of noise nearly every moment of every waking hour. I wake up in the morning to the sound of little voices down the hall (sometimes chattering happily, sometimes screeching painfully). Through most of the day, there is a constant background noise of voices from the television or radio, of music playing, of traffic going past, of ringing telephones, of children playing in the next room, of my husband deep in conversation on the phone. It isn’t necessarily unpleasant noise, or even unwelcome. But it is nearly constant. So on the rare occasion when there is a moment or two of peace, it’s noticeable. And pleasant. And very, very welcome.
This morning, for some reason, my kids were reasonably subdued when they got up. I settled them in the downstairs playroom with their breakfast, without turning on the television. They ate quietly, without squabbling or talking or constantly calling to me as they often do. I came upstairs to make myself a cup of coffee, and didn’t turn on the radio, as I usually do in the morning. And then I noticed the local mourning doves wandering around on the porch, looking hopeful, so I went outside to give them their breakfast. I noticed that it was as unusually quiet and peaceful outside my house as it was inside. Unlike just a few days ago when the trees in my yard had been so full of noisy birds that I could hardly hear anything else, now I could only hear one single bird, perched so high in the branches that I couldn’t even pick him out, happily singing his spring song to the blue sky, whistling in short bursts with long pauses in between, as if he were waiting for his lady love to reply.
I stood there for several minutes, feeling the warm sun on my face and the cold flagstones under my bare feet, smelling the damp smells of early spring, listening to the alternating silence and song from the tree above. And I felt peace.