How I Find and Cherish Quiet

I found quiet for 10 minutes this evening after dinner. I buried one ear in a couch cushion and pulled another over my head. When I threw those cushions off, the rowdy kitchen clean-up had disappeared and so had my girls. They left for youth group and didn’t even disturb me to say good-bye. On the one hand, I have an evening of quiet ahead. On the other hand, I already miss them.

That’s the epitome of my dilemma. I value quiet, but I also value relationships—especially relationships with my family. I don’t love people less. I just cherish quiet. In the quiet I can think. I can feel. I can write. I can just process everything better when I’m still.

Like most families this time of year, our home is a noisy place. To be still every day, at some point during the day, has become a game I play with myself. And the goal isn’t always what you would expect.

For example, Paul and I often take a walk after dinner. We have a favorite walk. The distance is good and the views even better. Plus, we have some quiet moments to talk through our day. Yesterday we walked later in the evening and invited KH along. She’s our outgoing 12-year-old who always has something to say. Of course she talked most of the way—about the bugs, the flip flops she wore, whatever came to her mind.

So if my goal was a quiet walk, this wasn’t it.  But I intentionally didn’t do or say anything to shush her, to force quiet. Instead I quieted any annoyance I may have. I quieted all those reasons I could “teach” her about the joys of being quiet. I quieted myself and enjoyed her chatter.

She’s certainly not going to be around making noise that long.  So I’ll take those spare moments of silence I find and the rest of the time, I’ll keep quiet.

 

 

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