Friday, April 14, 2017

Silence Is Golden

Today is Good Friday, the day Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. According to the regulations of the Catholic church this is a day of fasting (which means one full meal during the day, and two small meals or snacks).

I'm a horrible faster.  I know that the purpose of the action is spiritual focus and self-discipline, but by the middle of the day I get weak and give in to my stomach, which insists it needs its normal afternoon snack.  Based on past experience I knew it wouldn't go well, and I wondered if there was anything else I could include in the fasting.  The voice inside my head wondered how hard it would be to have silence for the day.
A little background...the first thing I do when I come into the kitchen in the morning is turn on the radio. It stays on whenever I'm in the house, and the broadcasts follow me out to the car. My first choice is a local community station, but I've been known to switch over to NPR or even an AM station if I need traffic or weather updates.
Today I decided to 'fast' from the background noise.  At first the silence was deafening, but it didn't take me long to get used to it, and then started liking it.  It was warm enough to have the windows open, so as I prepared and ate breakfast I was serenaded by a bird chorus. Later I listened to a neighbor cutting his grass. Every so often I'd hear the sound of a distant train horn.  Right before a rain shower came through things got very quiet and still, and after it passed the birds started chirping again.   I tried to drive with the radio off, but the noises of my old car were distressing. I settled for turning on a mellow music station at a very low volume.

When I returned home from my morning errands the first thing I instinctively did is walk over to the radio, then I remembered my commitment and walked away.  As I was pouring my afternoon cup of coffee my finger automatically hit the radio 'on' button.  After a couple of seconds I turned it off again.

The day had a different rhythm. My main radio station changes its volunteer DJs every couple of hours. I'm used to the flow of the day as each show has a different emphasis. It was interesting to discover just how much I relied on them to keep track of the time.  I was completely surprised when I got a text from Hubby Tony telling me he was on the way home.

When Tony walked in the door I asked him if he noticed anything different.  He did not, but after I told him said the quiet was a nice change of pace.  During dinner Tony and I discuss our days and listen to music. Tonight there was just discussion, which was a nice change of pace.


  1. I wonder how many people are like you and keep noise on all day? I cannot handle it. Terry has the tv on in the morning for news and we turn the tv on at dinner for the evening news, but otherwise, the house is silent during the day. I love silence.

    1. As I've experimented with keeping the radio turned off I realized that nature becomes my background noise. I don't think it would be the same if the house was closed up.

  2. We didn't eat meat today but didn't fast.

  3. Must have been a nice change. Noise is everywhere nowadays. Silence is hard to create.