There’s all sorts of quiet that you find in your life. There’s the quiet when you sit and eat with someone that you love and you don’t talk, because you don’t need to. That’s a huge one for me, a comfortable quiet. There’s sitting on a rocking chair on a porch over looking the ocean, and that’s a quiet that is soothing and calm, however not truly quiet. There’s the squeaking of the rocking chair (any good rocking chair with personality has some squeaks), the porch creaking and the sound of the waves; if you’re lucky there may even be cicadas in a nearby tree making a ruckus or birds calling over head. If you’re truly blessed you’ll hear the sounds of a familial conversation taking place further down the porch, one where you’re not involved but are welcome to listen.
There’s a quiet that comes when you float in the ocean and lose your sense of where you are in terms of out to sea or close to shore. Its honestly kind of scary, even though I’m a great swimmer. I tend to lie there and think of the Native American story of the world being on a turtle’s back, and just laying there not knowing where you are except in the ocean and (maybe?) close to shore, it makes sense to my soul that I could really just be floating on a turtle’s back.
At my work in a cubicle farm there is rarely quiet, because even if no one is talking there is still typing, stamping, and the sounds that humans choose to make that drive me crazy, such as sucking on ice all day every day. Of course I crack most joints on my body, so its a give and take. But there is quiet that is chosen, when I choose to not be overwhelmed by the multitude of people around me and by the feeling that I am somehow stuck here, while being surrounded by floor to ceiling windows. Its an odd feeling, but the chosen quiet helps along with the willful quieting of my soul that follows.
Other quiets that go hand in hand are when you’re laying in bed and the person you love is next to you, but asleep. The quiet is around you in the darkness and warmth, punctuated by their steady breathing and the feeling of safety that is both inside you and all around. I’m lucky because laying there I know that if I choose to I can snuggle up against him and even in his sleep he’ll wrap and around me and make a noise of contentment. Or when you’re sitting with an animal and just petting them, you and him, and you know that both of you are content to be there as long as possible. Maybe there’s purring or wag of a tail, and many kisses being given, but there is still a lack of sound but not a lack of love.
These quiets are important to me, and definitely one of the ways that I like to make sure I notice the small beautiful things in life. I don’t want to be solely focused on my weight losses and gains, because that does not make a fruitful life. So today I am thankful for all the quiets I love, not all listed here (I didn’t even talk about the quiet of when a baby is asleep on you, oh my heart!). If you’ve never thought of a time when the world around you was quiet but your heart was full, I hope this helped, and I hope next time it happens that you recognize it for the wonderful thing that it is.
P.S. I lay in the ocean? I lie in the ocean? I can be told so many times, but I’ll never know!