Written by Katie England
Silence is not a thing I find readily at home these days. Even during normal times, there are squeals and screams and giggles and “Mommy, can I have a treat?” “Mommy, can I watch a show?” “Mommy, look at me!” “Watch me do this!” “Are you in the bathroom?”
And now, this noise is compounded as four months of no school, no playgrounds, no babysitters, and no grandparent visits have accumulated into a new (yet temporary) normal that is, frankly, difficult. How can I find solitude when our home is full all day, every day? What does self-care look like when I can’t go for a cup of coffee by myself or meet a friend for a glass of wine or cheer on the Preds with my spouse?
Somehow, I managed to sequester a few minutes to myself this afternoon to write this. And I am drinking it up. The little ones are resting inside, and as I sit on the patio in the relative quiet, I can still hear the layers of sounds around me: cars on the busy road not far off, a few species of birds ‘caw caw-ing’ in the neighborhood, crickets ‘chip chip chipping’ in the grass. It is not silent but it is quiet. It is enough.
For now, finding solitude means drinking my first cup of coffee before the rest of the house wakes up or taking the dog on a walk alone before dinner. My favorite times, though, are early morning walks when the air is still cool from the night before and the song birds are twittering and chirping and cheeping and peeping.
They seem to be singing a song just for me, but it is not for me.
I am an offstage observer of a concert meant only for God. The birds praise their Creator God by being birds and singing their bird songs, just as the crickets praise their Creator God with their ‘chip chip chipping’ and the evening sky praises its Creator God with its show of orange, red, and purple sunsets. After that, the fireflies praise Creator God with their flickering of lights.
These sights and sounds remind me of the brief but powerful words of Psalm 148: calling all of God’s creation to praise the Lord which created it all:
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you creatures of the ocean depths,
8 fire and hail, snow and clouds,
wind and weather that obey him,
9 mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all livestock,
small scurrying animals and birds,
11 kings of the earth and all people,
rulers and judges of the earth,
12 young men and young women,
old men and children
13 Let them all praise the name of the Lord.
for his name is very great;
his glory towers over the earth and heaven!
No, silence is not easily found these days, but may I relish the noises around me as a concert meant to honor the one true Creator God. May I relish the noises, too, of two little girls that praise their Creator God with their imaginative stories, contagious smiles, giggles, and yes, even squeals.