For the last two nights everyone has been out of the house. It has been me, the two rabbits Midnight and I-Bun, Poppy the Puppy, Sam the Guinea Pig, and Kiki the Parakeet. It has been an amazing experience.
The silence is remarkable. It is so quiet when I walk in the door and get through the puppy greetings it is amazing. The sound of air conditioning working. The outside sounds of birds and the occasional car passing by. The dappled sun wanders through the leaves and hits the windows, making shadows on the panes. But silence lays like a blanket over everything.
Oddly enough, the silence seems to act as a shield when I get home. There is a sense that the four walls enclosing me are impenetrable to the outside world - ridiculous I know, but very real. The world outside seems as a thousand miles away.
I grasp again that underlying need to have this sort of silence, unburdened by the ways I seem to get it now: in the car to work with the background noise of traffic, in the house early in the morning when the presence of others is felt it not there, in the brief moments when everyone else is away. It is nothing like this - a long extended period of quiet, surrounded by the things in my life that give me joy.
I understand the attraction for some of the silent monasteries and retreat centers - for many, a thing which would be difficult to incur two hours of, let alone two days - but for me a chance to reconnect with soul and mind, to do deep thinking, to merely be.
Silence becomes the security blanket with which I envelop my soul.