|Jordan builds a fort to prepare for snowball fight with brothers.|
Last weekend my family and I traveled from our home in Long Beach, the flattest part of Long Island, to a spot in the Poconos Mountains. Not only the terrain was opposite, but this part of the world sounded nothing like home.
While the kids slept late, I bundled up in as many layers as I could tolerate, squeezed into my boots with double socks and went for a walk up the quiet road. And I mean up. The roads in the Poconos go either uphill or downhill and rarely anything in between. I got to work muscles usually neglected in Long Beach.
After a few minutes passed, I noticed the silence. Only my boots crunched in the icy snow. Unlike home, there were no motors running, no dogs barking, no planes roaring overhead, no cars or trucks or buses zooming by, no taxis honking. I could hear myself breathe. I could hear myself think and pray. Quiet melodies played in my mind without my phone interrupting. This world was crystal clear. The air wasn’t cluttered with noise. I wished I could pack up this peace and take it home with me.
I love silence, so how did I end up living in a noisy corner of the world? Of course, I could blame my husband who got me to fall in love and follow him to the beautiful city by the beach where he grew up. Fine for Gene—he likes background noise. He sleeps with the TV blasting or talk radio shows on until I find the off button.
To add to the noise of our area, we have five kids and a dog, a compulsive barking Yorkie. At our home’s highest decibel, Keyra is barking at the mailman, the kids are yelling at a video game with ten other boys in the house while Gene is watching TV. My ears ring just thinking about it. And now that the kids are getting older, they stay up late. The cacophony seems to go on forever.
My refuge is the morning hours. I wake up before the sun rises to enjoy my quiet time, have cereal while reading the Bible and write until I get sleepy and crash on my keyboard.
Today my wish came true (for a day.) After experiencing our first winter blizzard this year, our home looks like the white world of the Poconos. The roads were closed last night after eleven as the snow began to pile. Taxis stopped driving at five—I know because I had to walk home from work, forty five minutes of toughing it out. This morning I could hear Keyra snoring in the silence. Kids are sleeping late, and I’m enjoying some peace until friends drift in, stomping their boots and the fun begins.
Thank you, Lord, for these moments. When the roads clear, I may go buy some earplugs.