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  • It is summer in CA--or nearly so--once again.

    This weekend Dr. Z and I had the opportunity to attend a campout we have attended the last three years near Laytonville, CA. While I enjoy the company of others quite a bit, this particular campout entails loud electronica music played 24/7 the entire weekend. Such has never been my cup of tea, even when I was quite young. Listening to nature is pretty much out of the question at this event. I always have thought this was a shame as it is at a beautiful piece of private property on a wonderful mountainside.

    This year we have decided not to go for several reasons, including, for me at least, my deep reluctance to submit to the non-stop thumpa-thumpa at this event.

    Noise. It's not that I am just getting old. I have never cared for the continuous noise that humans seem to make. As a child, I would often go for long walks in the fields and woodlots surrounding my home just so that I could get away from the noise of humanity. I'm a social person. I like to chat with folks. I like long, thoughtful conversations. But sometimes, I just want silence.

    I've often thought that if I had lived a few hundred years ago I would have been one of those women to join a nunnery just for the opportunity for silence. Or perhaps an aesthetic who went off and lived in a cave along the cliffs of Iona for a few years.

    I am thankful that Dr. Z and I have this place to ourselves now. It is difficult to find silence when you live with people who never leave the house. Now I often spend most of my days off in quiet. No music. I avoid the phone. Just the sounds around me. Not complete silence of course. Cars driving by, the occasional leaf blower or table saw. But also birds, the wind, the rustle of leaves.

    I find that I write more often when I have time with silence. I can hear my Muse much more clearly. Thoughts have time to form more fully before they are interrupted by noise. I am sure that most people find this to be true for themselves as well. Perhaps that is why not many pursue writing. They are not at ease with quiet.

    A shame, really. It is so comfortable here in the stillness.

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