Is it a “thing” or the absence of a thing? I don’t know. As much as I love quiet, I see it has many different perspectives.
“It is so quiet back here!”
“No, it is most certainly not quiet. Close your eyes and listen.” It was a game she loved to play with children who visited. She would challenge them to come up with something.
They would close their eyes and concentrate. Before long, one of them would notice the insects. “I hear buzzing in the trees.” And about that time the katydids would come alive with a surge of sound, turning up the volume to defy quiet.
“I hear cars somewhere.” It was distant noise, but the beep, beep, beep of the truck backing up was much closer. They all nodded and listened some more.
On rare occasions, like today, the train half a mile away blew it’s whistle at about the same time as a jet went overhead. She always had to laugh when transportation so fully represented itself. They caught it all and laughed with her.
“I hear the trees, or maybe it’s the wind.” Another child said softly, a look of intense concentration on his face. “I heard a bird too. I guess it’s not so quiet.”
“But you’re right, it’s quiet sound,” she said, not wanting them to be totally wrong about quiet, because she loved it too.
It should be quiet at night, or at least that was her opinion. She knew others thought differently. She flung her arm over to his shoulder and rocked him back and forth until he quit snoring. She was glad the tornado roaring in her dream could so easily be vanished, at least until he relaxed and started up again.
He was going for a sleep study soon but it had taken a while to convince him he needed it. She knew he couldn’t be getting good sleep when his breathing was so erratic. The sudden gasps and variations of ragged breathing, interspersed with no breathing were not healthy for him (or for her).
As aggravating as the problem was, she had to admit, the most terrifying times were when she heard nothing but quiet.
She awoke and realized the headache was gone. The TV was off and he had gone to bed. It was quiet and she was flooded with relief.
The world had always been more quiet for him and he liked it that way. He was used to it and couldn’t understand how people who heard everything could bear the noise.
What time of quiet do you notice most/like best?