There’s something wonderful about a quiet morning.
I love it when the morning rush is over and the noise of car doors slamming/cars and buses driving by/people saying goodbyes has ceased. Just after 9 am there’s an incredible calm, a silence that comes over the house. It makes me feel completely peaceful. It makes me feel grateful.
I was never a person who loved rushing around and travelling and being busy. I thought I did. I thought I would love being in a job where the pace was fast and there was a lot of responsibility and there were many people to deal with. I used to think I’d love the rush of life in a big city, noise and people and vehicles, restaurants and clubs and stores.Â I used to think I’d love the life of an adrenaline junkie. I used to think I would love a life where I was in demand, where I had places to go, where I worked long hours.
I used to THINK I’d be all those things.
But truth is, I am not. I am more comfortable with quiet. I am more of a small-town person, I think, or at the very least, a more rural type. I get stressed by the crush of people and cars in the city. I hate the need to rush around. I hate the corporate mentality. It’s great for some people, I know, and good for them for thriving on the energy. But it’s not for me. All that trying to live “the life” was stressful and exhausting and made me miserable.
There were times when I enjoyed the noise and the pace. Japan was good. It was like clockwork, though — everything on time — so even the rush became slowed down once you got into a groove. But even then, I needed the quiet. I cherished my time alone in my apartment with the BBC World Service and a pot of tea. I used to seek out temple gardens, Zen gardens in the midst of a busy city, just for the peace and quiet.
I used to always have a radio on in the house, music accompanying me while I did things. I love music, but maybe it was also something to drown out the other noise. I don’t know. But as much as I love music, even now as I go through my day doing chores and things around the house, I rarely turn the music on anymore. I enjoy the quiet, even while I am working. I like hearing myself think.
I love that right now, it is so quiet I can hear the purring and sighing of my cat on the floor behind me, the tiniest mechanical whirrs and hums of the appliances in my kitchen, the gentle wheezing and bubbling of the coffee maker, the flapping of birds’ wings and the swishing noise as they walk through the grass. I feel connected to the world through those tiny little sounds I had never heard before.
Right now, as I sit by the patio doors and hear the birds chirping in the conservation area, and look out on the trees, it is peaceful. I feel comfort in the way things are. I feel like I have kind of figured out some things about myself after thirty or so years of trying to live a different life. I feel more contentment with my life than I ever have.
I know that this will change. I know that the quiet will be over soon after the arrival of our child. I know chaos will ensue as soon as he learns to dump out a toybox. I know that rushing and people will become part of the norm again when he starts going to school and friends’ homes and activities and starts making his way in the world.
But that’s different, I think. I don’t know, of course, but I imagine that the difference is that the noise and chaos and rushing will just be part and parcel with the joy and ups and downs and love of having a child in your life. And also, I don’t think that sense of contentment with my life will disappear — I imagine it will be amplified. Of course, I don’t know how things will be. I guess we will find out.Â And grow and change, as need be.
Right now, though, I take a deep breath. I cherish the morning calm, the quiet moments I have right now. I did not realize how much I needed them before I had them.