I just finished blogging one of my late mother's writings about Quiet. She was in her nineties, hard of hearing, unable to operate her television or understand a phone conversation, and unable to drive. Her world was, of necessity, very quiet, and although she complained to me of her loneliness, she was able to find the positive in her world that had, in the words of Henry Higgins (My Fair Lady), "an atmosphere as restful as an undiscovered tomb."
A rare thing, quiet, in our noise-saturated world. Joggers plugged into earbuds. Fitness centers blasting high-energy music. Massive, eardrum-piercing speakers at concerts, sporting events, and movie theaters. Not to mention online games, music, talk shows; we are bombarded with noise as constant as the stream of cosmic dust hitting our planet, and about as noticeable. Traffic. Dogs. Political speeches, God help us. Even the subtle noise of one's air-conditioning or heating system. There's a reason many people sleep with earplugs.
When Quiet arrives, sitting gently at our side, brushing our fingertips, blowing in our ear, we barely recognize her beauty. We are restless, anxious, not sure what or whom has arrived, worried we are missing something, ready to turn her away.
But when we allow Quiet to rest with us for a bit, a change comes over us. Our shoulders relax. Our breathing becomes deep. The endless list of disasters for which we believe must worry, slips away from our hearts. We may notice the sweet perfume of flowers or the crisp cleanliness of frost. Our daily stresses retreat to a back corner of our minds.
Something even more elusive than Quiet may join us. And her name is Peace.