The house is quiet. Outside my window I can only see the Christmas lights that run along the edge of the roof. Our neighbours all have their lights off. Darkness. Everywhere darkness. And deep deep quiet. I complain every afternoon that I'm really tired and I remind myself every time that I get up really early every day. And I do, I get tired easily, I could sleep longer, if I tried. But I enjoy this quiet. I can write a letter, like I did this morning, write my blog, like I'm doing now. No one is moving in the house. No one is going to call me. It's just quiet.
There was a time I didn't understand quiet. When in the car with my parents growing up they never, ever, put on the radio. We'd nag them too but when my mother's ears went red we stopped. I don't think she knows to this day that she had these 'early warning' beacons that let us know when explosion was on the horizons. So we simply stopped asking. Then with the purchase of our own car, music poured out of the speakers. Until, maybe, 5 years ago. The music stopped. We'll turn the radio on to hear the news, the traffic and the weather, then shut it off when the music begins. 'Who needs that noise?'
Now Joe and I can drive across an entire province without once turning on the radio, or even without much saying much. We just enjoy the quiet and being out of the whirlwind of work and people.
I like it.
Being in the hospital learning that I was going to be in a wheelchair for, if not the rest of my life then for a very long time, I was left in quiet. The doctor told me with little preparation, though I'd already figured it out. They could have told me when Joe was there so I'd have someone to talk too afterward. But, in the end, I'm glad I had quiet. I had no distractions. I didn't have to worry about Joe worrying about me. For those moments it was only me that knew. And I'm glad those moments were quiet. Because it's then that I can find my true voice. It's aways been faint - It asked me - 'How are you different?" and I quickly answered, 'I'm not different at all, I'm just in a wheelchair.' My real voice is unrelenting when it begins a subject, 'You will be different, what will that difference mean to you ... that's what will determine everything about tomorrow.' My real voice sometimes sounds like Yoda.
I like it.
Christmas morning quiet is about something different though, it's like wanting to hear the hush of the world, for a moment, at peace. The world around me, outside my window, is hushed. It's like a world waiting ... to see, if the difference made today will transform the world tomorrow. That is the hope of Christmas. To me, at least.