Seeking Silence

Each day from the moment the sun comes up until late afternoon, I hear the noise of construction.  Two new homes are being built across the street from us.

At this point in the year I normally enjoy letting the cooler early-autumn breeze waft through our open windows.  Not quite as much this year, though, since the beeping of construction vehicles, the pounding of hammers, and the sound of engines waft through our open windows, as well.

Over the course of a day, it's amazing that I can almost tune out these loud sounds.  Almost.

But then there's a day like today, a Sunday during which all of the workers are off and the construction is halted.  I listen to entirely different sounds -- a singular car driving up the road, crickets humming, wind rustling through the leaves on trees.

I notice how much more relaxed I feel. 

At the risk of typing the most overly-obvious question ever to have been typed: Have you noticed how much continual noise motherhood brings?

The other day I asked Joel if he'd watch the girls while I cut the grass.  "I really need the peace and quiet," I explained.

Yes, I was desperate for the peace and quiet that comes from revving up a lawnmower and listening to its deafening engine as I walked back and forth across my yard for an hour.  Because, as obnoxiously loud as a lawnmower is, it doesn't ask any questions.  It doesn't fight with its sibling over a toy.  It doesn't tell me that it's hungry seven minutes after I feed it a meal.

It's a quiet kind of loud.

And it worked.  I felt a little more human after cutting the grass, much like I'm acutely enjoying the lack of active construction across the street today.

Sometimes, we have to work to discover silence in our lives.  We have to turn off the computer, say no to the request, and guard time when we can be still.  In the words of Jon Acuff, we have to build our own Central Parks within the chaotic New York City of our lives, so that we don't implode on ourselves from busyness or wear out from constant work.

I'm not always good at this.  Between kids, work, and writing, I have little downtime.  I'm assuming that the vast majority of you are in the exact same boat, even if your specifics vary.  Even so, let's find some time this week to be good to ourselves, to stroll around in our Central Park and escape the throbbing traffic of our lives.

(Got an idea on how to practically do this?  Feel free to share in a comment!)

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1 comment

  1. I haven't experienced quite what you speak of yet, I have only one (for a few weeks...), and so no sibling stuff yet :) It's so great to be able to have someone who can take on the 'loud' for your for a time, though - whether it's a spouse, or grandparents, or both.  My husband and I try to find at least one day a month when Clara goes with her grandparents so we can just wander the mall together, or something... it's nice to get a break!


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