Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Too Much Noise

My poor little Mac finally hacked and wheezed and coughed out its last little breath. The hard drive groaned laboriously and finally just stopped. I looked at the fading screen and panicked. How could I survive without a computer? All of my school files, craft plans, art study resources, writing folders, pictures -- everything that I could grab with a click was gone.

It's been eerily quiet these last few days. Sure, I still have four children running around, spilling water on the couch, pounding away at the piano and telling me too frequently of how they've been wronged by a sibling. But there's less noise. Less information clamoring for my attention.

I can't respond to emails immediately, I can't catch up on articles and blogs, I can't even throw down my thoughts in this place with ease. I sneak a few borrowed minutes when my husband's work computer is available, then head back into the quiet.

It's not such a bad thing, this quiet.

Today I read Little Miss Avery Kate Too Much Noise, a library book which we immediately fell in love with. An old man named Peter lives alone in an old cottage. The bed creaks, the floor squeaks, the leaves rustle, the tea kettle whistles. And he's convinced that it's too noisy.

So Peter visits a wise man who tells him to buy a cow. Peter, although perplexed, brings home a cow. Eventually, he has hauled home a cow, a goat, a sheep, and several other barnyard animals. Of course by this time he really can't stand the noise.

He finally approaches the wise man in a fit of anger, upset that the noise has only increased. The wise man then tells Peter to get rid of the animals, which he is only too glad to do. This leaves Peter with just a bed that creaks, floors that squeak, leaves that rustle and a tea kettle that whistles. His response? "Ah . . . how quiet my house is!"

My mind feels the quiet of these last several days. Not too much information to sift through, not too many contacts to keep up with. The cow, donkey, sheep and hen have been given the boot. And I'm left with just the bed that creaks, the floors that squeak, the leaves that rustle and the tea kettle that whistles. (And the piano that pounds, the basketballs that bounce, the washing machine that runs, the children who chortle . . . .)

My response? "Ah . . . how quiet my house is!" Maybe it's not such a bad thing, after all.
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