There are so many attributes of quiet.
There is the quiet of a summer’s night that is alive with the sounds of crickets chirping, a soft warm breeze rustling through the leaves in the trees, bright stars in the sky, a quiet that gives you a feeling of “Ahhh” and an appreciation for the simple things.
There is the quiet of a deep winter’s night, the cold wind howling outside while I’m cozy and warm inside with a hot cup of tea, a blanket, and a good book.
There is the quiet of being with a friend in need, when they are hurting and lost, holding a hand, sitting shoulder to shoulder, making sure they don’t feel alone, present, offering a wordless hug that conveys so much, just being there for whatever they need, a quiet of support.
There is the quiet when you gaze down at your sleeping child, so innocent in slumber, when your heart swells with a love so big you feel as if it could burst from your chest.
There is the sudden quiet when you have young children, when you realize it’s too quiet, an alarming quiet, and you race to check to see if anything is wrong, usually to discover they’ve gotten into something they shouldn’t, but usually it’s okay, even comical, and your breath whooshes out in relief.
There is the waiting quiet, when you are waiting for word from someone who has gone missing for hours, or is in surgery, in the hospital, or waiting for serious test results, or whatever the case, when the quiet is LOUD, when you can hear every tick of the clock as you wait, every pounding beat of your heart, as you wait and you worry, a quiet of agonizing suspense.
There is the peaceful quiet of a soft snowy winter night when no one else is around, no sound but the crunch of your feet in fresh untouched powder, big white flakes slowly, gently, drifting down around you, when the white blanketed world feels like a hush has fallen over it.
There is the quiet of absence. The quiet of a house that no longer feels like home, when the heart of it is gone, a terrible, aching, profound quiet. So empty. A deep stillness that cuts like a knife that makes you want to scream into the void to make it stop, and sometimes you do.
There is the quiet of rocking a baby nestled into your shoulder, completely trusting, listening to their tiny breaths and soft cooing sounds, or in the crook of your arm, gazing down into that precious little face, wishing you could capture that moment forever.
There is the quiet of the sunrise over the ocean, just the sound of the waves as the colors first begin to rise over the water on the horizon, breathing in the salty sea air, such a feeling of calm and tranquility.
There is the quiet of loneliness that has its own special kind of ache, an ache, a longing, a gnawing, too difficult to put into words.
There is the kind of quiet you can relax into, sitting in comfortable companionable silence with someone who truly understands you, accepts you, and with whom you feel safe. Words are superfluous.
There is the quiet late at night as on Christmas Eve, after everything is finally done, the children are asleep, and you can at last sit still for a moment, unfocus your eyes, and enjoy the bokeh of the tree lights, utterly exhausted.
There is the quiet of early Christmas morning, before the children are yet awake with excitement, a quiet of anticipation.
There is the quiet after a place has been filled with love and laughter and the faces most dear to you, after they depart, a quiet that feels a little nostalgic, a little happy, and a little sad because they are gone again, so it has a quality of missing people whose presence still lingers.
So many qualities of quiet, from deeply painful to terrifying to serene to content.