written and posted by members of Lancashire Dead Good Poets' Society

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Silence - I'll Settle for Quiet

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.”  (From Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, 1927)

How refreshing it feels just to be quiet with no distraction. I like to have the radio or a CD on, but sometimes it’s good not to bother and go about my housework duties in silent prayer or lost in my thoughts. My thoughts are bordering on torturous at the moment. A mini crisis which I needn’t bore you with and I’m sure it will blow over with some self-counselling and a quiet word above.

The place that offers the most silence is our favourite lodge in Dumfries & Galloway. Off the beaten track, hidden by trees and foliage, any sounds come from nature – and the fridge thermostat kicking in – owls, foxes, deer and the ripple of the nearby stream. Dare I believe that we’ll be there in just a few short weeks? Recently arranged and neatly in line with my retirement, we will sample summer time at the lodge. Very rare, we’re usually out of season visitors, but very welcome after lockdown.

The back garden offers tranquillity, depending on the day or time. The sheltered side, nice for a quiet read, never on a Sunday, though. Someone in the neighbourhood will fire up their lawn mower, strimmer or electric hedge cutter and kill the moment. No one around here has a massive garden, so what takes hours with some extra loud machine, I do not know. Someone else nearby likes to entertain outside and after winter and lockdown, it is clearly back on the agenda. Raucous laughter, which we hadn’t missed, and, I am told, the smell of a barbecue was apparent at the weekend. The best time to sit out is on a week day during school hours, until the boy across the back comes home and starts kicking his football against their wooden fence. They have to start somewhere, bless him.

At work, we hear the sound of silence at the end of the day when the fluorescent lights are switched off and the high-speed drills stop buzzing in our ears.  It isn’t my domain but there is something I find peaceful about a spotless, empty surgery, prepared for the next day. I accept that I’m a strange one. Somewhere a phone will ring and an answer-phone will take a message. I won’t miss much of this.

I am happy to fill my house with the noise of four lively grandchildren coming to tea, make sure they have fun and enough to eat and enjoy the peace and quiet when they’ve gone home.

My Haikus:

My washing machine
Is torture to all ear-drums
When it’s in a spin.

Stressed and troubled, then,
When dental drills stop whining
Serenity calms.

When the noise has gone
And there’s a moment to think
About what makes peace.

Hushed in the darkness
The unsettled baby girl
Loved and nursed by me.

PMW 2021

Thanks for reading, keep well. Pam x


Steve Rowland said...

I'm sure summer in Dumfries & Galloway will be especially lovely this year. Hoping your mini crisis dissipates soon. I enjoyed your observations Pam, and the series of haikus. Thank you for sharing.