It was a rough week. It’s the first time I can remember being exposed to a 112-degree, “feel-like” temperature. Dew points remained in the upper 70s for days. I had to abandon my upstairs office because, in the absence of upstairs air conditioning, I could not concentrate in the stuffiness of 93 degrees.
Today is different; the heatwave broke last night. And while I share my fellow citizens’ joy that the swelter has ended, what I value even more is the end to the noise. With great pleasure I switched off the fans and compressors of the air conditioner and dehumidifiers. Their droning symphony had become more intolerable than the hot, oxygen-deprived air. To open the windows and listen to the silence was to sooth an ache that inflicted both my body and soul.
The intermittent breeze, the near inaudible sound of a thousand tiny crickets, the occasional cooing of the dove: the world seems to be at rest after surviving a relentless extreme. I enjoy a rare, rural privilege: to be able to immerse myself in Nature’s condition by simply stepping outside my door. And so I counted my auditory blessings after so many days of forced retreat inside the motorized hum. When I emerged this morning, the gratitude nearly brought me to tears.
We humans do not realize how much noise we make. In our quest for comfort we forget how peace can bring the greatest comfort of all.