The dog isn't barking. My 10-year-old and his friend are outside playing. The dryer isn't even humming. No airplanes are taking off or landing, and even the busy street is silent. The sun has finally made an appearance.
I will take these moments, whenever they come to me. Someday, I know, there will be great quantities of quiet in my life. The dog will be old and will have a hard time mustering up the desire to bark at the golfers across the street or the squirrel on the roof. I won't get phone calls every 10 minutes asking if today is a "uniform day" for American Heritage Girls or if I can chaperon at a dance or if I can be the carpool.
Five minutes: I timed the silence. The phone rings; the heat kicks on. I hear shouts and a loud bang outside. An airplane takes off, and the refrigerator begins a slight shudder. Predictably, the dog begins her fierce barking.
Just down the street my parents go through their day quietly, waiting for interruption. In their mid-80s, their days have a different kind of predictability, a steady diet of naps, meals, books. For 35 years my mother was immersed in the noise of raising a family, for another 25 her world was filled with the bustle of grandchildren and volunteering and traveling and shopping. And now they have come to the dichotomy of silence, the blessing, the curse.
For now, I'll take the slices as they come, and add to the noise by reprimanding the dog, loudly.