Wednesday, 20 April 2011

'Q' is for ... Quiet.


Can you hear that?
Listen, carefully.
Aside from the twittering radio interference garble of swallows, and two buzzards circling, mewing high in the sky...

...Amidst the frantic bleating of a lamb that momentarily loses sight of its mother, and above the deep hum of two tractors a few fields away as they plant potatoes, I can hear…

Oh, no, now there’s no chance…

Hubby’s car roars up the lane amid a cloud of dust. I wait for the crunch of gravel, for him to turn into our courtyard, and the thump, thump sound of music vibrating from the car radio. He slams the front door behind as he comes in and dumps his bags on the hall floor. Black brogues clip clop over the steps, and onto the slate tiles of the kitchen floor. Before he’s even kissed me, he flicks the radio in the kitchen on, plugs it into the extension lead, and brings it outside.

'It’s like a morgue in here. I don’t know how you can stand it this quiet.’

He plants a wet kiss on my cheek and goes through into the living room, grabbing the TV control as he passes the coffee table, and presses the green button to watch the news. I know it’s only a matter of time before tinny 80’s music will blast out of the Ipod speakers in the study.

Hearing him, the boys rush out from the bedroom. The sound of guns shooting and a Sergeant Major barking orders emanate from the X-Box they’ve left on. Before I can tell them to go back and turn it off, they yell to greet their dad and charge outside to bounce on the trampoline. Springs creak, fabric stretches, squeals of laughter peal out, and my young bucks vie for top dog position, wrestling in between their ‘I can bounce highest’ competitions.

Next door’s toddler pokes her pretty, strawberry blond head under the fence. ‘Hiya! Hiya. Hellooo.’ She’s impossible to resist. Her elder brother - who’s only five - bounces his football loudly, hoping to attract the attention of my boys so they'll give him some attention and play.

In the field across the lane, the farmer on his quad bike and his dogs send the ewes and lambs into automatic frantic mode. They give chase, baaing and bleating for the feed and supplements. The neighbours horses and donkeys decide to join the mayhem and hare across the field in pursuit of each other. By the time they have run a few feet, they lose track of who’s chasing who.

My youngest gets bored on the trampoline, finds the football and starts kicking and kneeing ‘keepy uppies.’ Without his younger brother to torment, the eldest loses interest too, and tennis racket in hand starts batting a ball against the house and on the decking. Next doors puppy yaps at our cat and gives chase. On the drive over the other side of the barn, I hear the neighbours pull their bins across the gravel, ready for the morning bin collection.

Hubby comes outside with a beer and sits down. The dog lollops towards him, panting and sneezing in excitement.

‘So how’s your day been?’ Hubby asks.

‘Quiet,' I say, and groan inwardly.

I do love them all. But sometimes, just sometimes, I wish they would all go away and leave me in peace.

Am I the only one who feels like this?

Quietness is not only a lack of noise, but it’s a state of mind. No agitation, excitement; with quietness comes calmness and tranquillity, a peaceful contemplation.

Quietness is underestimated and undervalued. Except by me.

For now, I shall have to wait until next week, when the Easter holidays are over. Then I might snatch some quiet time again.

Until another day
Bye for now


Rosemary Gemmell said...

All I can say is I'm glad I'm past that stage of school holidays! And I feel your lament for your lost peace and quiet - but it will be extra good once you have it back.

Lins' lleisio said...

I too love the peace and quiet, I appreciate it more as each year passes. I enjoy my own company and solitude. I hope you get your quiet time back soon. Wonderfully written by the way.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

My husband learned long ago not to raise a ruckus when I am trying to work. But I also grew accustomed to external noises and the normal sounds of a household. Now, I can write anywhere!

Bish Denham said...

I do just fine without the external of radio or tv. And when I write, I don't like noise at all.

Frances said...

Ahh, you know that I do live in a noisy city. Yet, I am so lucky in living in a quiet apartment on a quiet block. If I do not turn on television, radio, computer or use the telephone, I can be rewarded by the distant sounds of birdsong, and the gentle swish of cars passing by.

Every now and then I do try this experiment, to see how much I do enjoy quiet.