Sometimes silence doesn’t get its due, especially by people like me who are always struggling to better hear and make sense of the sounds around us. But I recently had an experience that made me appreciate silence; and crave it, and miss it when it was no longer there. Here is what happened.
I was recently extremely lucky to spend a week on a boat in the Exuma Islands of the Bahamas. It was exquisite in every way — beautiful sunsets, wonderful food, uninterrupted family time, and SILENCE. Our days were filled with water sports and other activities, and our nights were filled with peace and quiet. And by the way — I could hear almost everything everyone said because there was no background noise!
I had truly never felt so relaxed and happy. I thought it was because I was on vacation, and that was part of it, but what I hadn’t realized was how much the silence had impacted my mood and overall sense of peace. Hence, the rude awakening when we were back on dry land and in the airport heading home. Almost immediately upon entering the airport, my body tensed up. I felt overwhelmed and exhausted. I kept asking my family if this airport was particularly loud, but they didn’t think so. I couldn’t think straight and I definitely could not hear anything anyone was saying. I put my hearing aids to sleep to mute the sound, but it didn’t really help. I was having a visceral reaction to the level of sound!
As the hours passed in transit and we returned home to NYC, I began to acclimate to the noise level of real life. My body returned to its normal state of being and I remembered how to concentrate in order to hear conversation. But I still miss those days of silence, with only the light breeze for a soundtrack.
Readers, do you love the sound of silence?