Have you ever been somewhere that is so quiet that you can hear your own heartbeat?
Have you ever just sat outside and listened to the world breathe?
When was the last time you turned off all the electronics in the house and listened to the house move?
It’s an odd place.
Your own words echo inside your head and every movement or shift of your body feels louder than the world around you. The slightest noise is more emphatic than a shout and can make you jump, heart pounding before you realise that it’s not going to hurt you.
I don’t think we really appreciate silence properly.
Our lives are full of sound, a cacophony that is unrelenting and often well meaning. If you’ve ever experienced true Silence, then you’ll understand what I mean.
I’m an introvert. I can put up with the sonance of the modern world, but every so often it gets to me and I need to find Silence again.
I know that sounds odd coming from a woman who is pregnant and already has two children, two cats and a partner to look after, but that is who and what I am. If I don’t get the chance to find Silence then my mood very quickly slips and I get ratty with everyone, even my children.
Sometimes I go down to the beach and sit listening to the waves. Or I might walk up into the woods and feel the wind on my skin, the same wind that blows the leaves of the trees. I reconnect with the natural world, but I also draw in the silence that comes with it.
I pull it in and wrap it around my heart to shield it from the eventual requirement to go back into the pandemonium of life.
My favourite kind of silence, the one that builds my defences and holds me tight against everything that tries to penetrate them is the sort of silence I get at home.
I have it today. For the first time in six months, the house is quiet. Yes the cats are still here, but they are off doing catty things (probably sleeping or eating) and they do them softly. My partner is out at his new job. The children are at school and wonder of wonders, Sprog (the one I am carrying) appears to be asleep and hasn’t kicked me for at least an hour.
I have no music on. The heating has just gone off, so the boiler roar is muted and all there is to hear is the tap of the keys as I write this, the beating of my heart and the hushed hum of the PC.
Later I will have to go back out into the world. I am going away this weekend and that means I will have to be sociable and talkative. I will draw in this Silence and use it to keep me calm when I can’t get away from people and the clamour that goes with them.
I enjoy socialising and chatting. I know that the first thing that anyone is going to ask me is “When is the baby due?”, followed swiftly by “Is it a Boy or a Girl?” (as if I have a choice over which is born!) I will answer and smile and be pleasant.
But this Silence I have now will sustain me. Until I can find it again.