We moved to our smaller, quieter town from another bigger small town almost three years ago. The first thing I noticed was how quiet it is here. Our last home was on a much busier road, and I could tell the time of day by the amount of traffic driving by. Now, we count more runners and bikers on our road than we do cars.
It’s nature-loving quiet here. Who knew there were so many different ways the wind dances with leaves? So many melodies of rainfall? So many blends of bird calls? At night, barred owls banter back and forth throughout the middling hours of my sleeplessness. Because it’s so still and the whole world’s on pause, I hear them so clearly – and they keep me company.
Because I’m almost always awake. The quiet’s out there and it’s the deepest silence I’ve ever heard, punctuated only by owl calls and the conversation going on in my head. My thoughts have stayed up too late – again.
As my heart waits for my three 20-something sons to come home, it feels like the peace our quiet road offers me at other waking hours, mocks me at midnight when I wait for the sound of cars – their cars – making their way back where I know they’re safe. Middle-of-the-night mothering ebbs – but always endures.
My thoughts cycle around and about and back again. There’s a long-playing list of things to do tomorrow, and my greatest resolve to do better, be better, live better, and love better always comes in the middle of the night. As I wait for their return, I’m also waiting and hoping and praying for faith to find me. All mothers need faith – especially in the stillness and shadows of the night.
One by one, the boys pull into our driveway, and I can rest a little easier, parking the anxiety roadside by the recycling and the trash. My thoughts sometimes spin awhile longer though because there’s tuition to pay for and plans to make and an endless number of details to remember and count like the stars lingering overhead.
But eventually even the owls move on and away, and so my troubles will soon too. Faith tells me tomorrow will find me – quieted and a little weary, but at peace – ready.
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Visit with Esther Emery and all the other mamas writing about quiet this week!