Anyone who’s ever adopted another country as their home will hopefully agree that, once you’ve given your heart to another place, it remains forever adrift; locked in a bittersweet tug-of-war of loving where you are and longing to be somewhere else.
I feel that way about silence.
I love being in its company but can feel intimidated by its presence at the same time.
In truth, if you could ask silence how committed I’d been to our companionship over the years, I’m sure it’d say I’d been most inattentive. We don’t get together often, but when we do it’s usually a passing nod of acknowledgment – quick dip of the cap – and we’re off in different directions again.
Lately, though, my respect for silence has been reborn.
It’s called parenthood.
The squeals of delighted playfulness that fill your house and melt your heart are met, in equal measure, by ear-splitting clashing, banging and screaming. It’s a land where silence surrendered long ago.
I escaped our Land of Bellows briefly over New Years Eve, thanks to incredibly generous grandparents, aunties and uncles, desperate to unashamedly spoil the youngest member of our clan.
My first thought as the car drove off towards three blissful days of sleep-ins and relaxed breakfasts spent reading the paper?
It’s so quiet. Too quiet.
There was no dog whining in the boot, desperate for a pee, and our darling toddler wasn’t imploring, “more, more, more…” as soon as Taylor Swift’s Shake it off finished playing on the stereo.
Maybe I’m a bigger fan of the cacophony of life than I thought.