Friday, 14 January 2011

A Quiet Life

Sometimes life picks us up and sweeps us along in a clamour of noise, but mostly our days are suspended in silence.

The quiet hangs over our house like a film of mist and the hours are punctuated with simple sounds that are so familiar that I barely notice them at all.

The laptop whirrs contentedly, the dishwasher digests its dirty breakfast, the pram wheels rumble against the road, a tower of blocks tumbles to the floor, a plastic toy bursts the silence with a startlingly garish tune, the heating throbs through the upstairs pipes, a baby squeals and babbles from the floor and my own voice cuts through the quiet, my words falling endlessly on uncomprehending ears.

There will come a day when life is so full of comings and goings, shouts and laughter, chatter and games that the silence of these days will feel as surreal and distant as a dream and I will wonder whether they were really thus at all.

I'll yearn for the calm of these quiet moments and I'll seek solitude and silence as though they're long lost friends.

But for now I sit quietly listening to the self-satisfied humming of the fridge, watching the clock as it ticks soundlessly forwards and wondering how much more quiet I can possibly take before I get up and put on a CD.


  1. I don't remember the silence of the first year - probably because Baby MasterM did not sleep in the day. I was a committed Radio 4 listener in those days and extremely well informed. These days I use music to fill the silence - I find it fills the spaces more effectively than Gardeners' Question Time even though I know less about begonias as a result. I also used to read childrens books aloud to MasterM right from the start because I wasn't very good at baby chatter. I am not sure that it made a huge difference to his reading but I enjoyed it.

  2. I think it is true that our lives are made up of seasons. I wonder if this quieter season is here to allow time to recuperate from childbirth, the physical demands of labour, breastfeeding, and sleepless nights and to prepare; a kind of lull before a storm - when toddlerdom hits town!
    I am coming towards the end of my nurturing days as my nest empties and illness makes me a wee bit tired at the mo and I can so relate to your quiet days as I hear just the hum of a washing machine again. But things don't just go full circle they kind of spiral and I too know that noise and comings and goings return as loved ones come back, albeit on flying visits, to an empty nest :)