Friday, December 19, 2014

Quiet, please!

      At the end of September our area was blasted by a VERY heavy hail-storm.  My wife was on her way to pick up the kids from school, and the hail was so bad she said that folks were stopping in the middle of the road.  She was able to pull into a parking lot and wait the storm out.  We're waiting to see whether or not our insurance will cover replacing most of the body panels on that car!  Our roof (old cedar shakes) was a mess, as were most of those in our neighborhood.  Roof replacement was in the cards!
      Last Saturday a small army of workers climbed ladders and started tearing off the shakes.  It did NOT make for a calm Saturday.  There was the noise of the shake-removal, the worker's radio (a VERY different station than I would have normally picked!), and the sound of debris hitting the truck.  When the sun finally went down, quiet was restored. What a relief! It remained quiet for several days, as we had snow on the roof.  But mid-week they were back, this time to put down the new shingles. BANG, BANG, BANG!  BANG, BANG, BANG! I'm hopeful that, today, when I get home, the roof is DONE!
      I am not really complaining, as I'm happy that we will have a new roof, providing better protection than its predecessor!  But I was struck by the contrast between the noise of the work and the silence.  I had grown slightly accustomed to the racket.  The silence, while a relief, was almost deafening.  I realized I was breathing differently.
      In a few days, like several other companies and institutions, the University of Denver will close for the last five business days of the year.  The noise, both literal and figurative, of our work will cease.  It's place, for many of us, will be taken by the hustle and bustle of holiday gatherings, noisy New Year's celebrations, intrusive holiday music in the stores, etc.  Quiet, please!
      Yet, at the same time, we will be surrounded by opportunities to find quiet and solitude.  Those of us who live in areas that are subject to snowfall all probably know how quiet even the busiest neighborhood becomes once it's blanketed by snow.  And heading into a park, or up into the mountains, just makes the quiet that much deeper.  I know I'll be heading out of the neighborhood to find that quiet, 
to be renewed, to take the opportunity to breathe differently.
      May we all find some of the quiet holiday blessings the season affords.



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