If You Close Your Eyes…

by Stefani on 30-July-2007

… you can hear better.

The doorbell rang at 8 AM this morning. For us, this is early. We are NOT morning people. At 8, we are still squinty-eyed and grunting at each other, lolling about and trying, though not in earnest, to reconcile ourselves to daylight.

The sound of the doorbell brought blank stares all around. Who would dare?

Ambitious carpet cleaners, who weren’t expected until noon, that’s who.

I won’t even get into how much I hate carpet, but let me just say that carpet cleaning at 8 AM is reason number 4,579 that I’d like to rip it all up, install drains in the floors, and buy plastic furniture so that I can just hose my house down every night before bed.

So, with a fair amount of grumbling and dirty looks, the boys and I threw on our clothes, stuffed the essentials in a bag and headed to the gym. Not, mind you, because I give a rat’s rear end about exercising at such an ungodly hour, but because they have free Internet access and reasonably healthy breakfast options.

We ate, we swam, we ate some more, and because I knew that our white (did you catch that? WHITE!) carpet needed to dry if it was to have a fighting chance against three boys, we decided to go on a hike.

And this is where I was treated to something wonderful and unexpected.

Silence, or something like it.

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After all the hustle of the morning, stepping into the woods was like diving into a deep pool. Cool and quiet.

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Even my wild boys grew hushed, if not still.

We closed our eyes to quiet everything but the sounds of birds calling to each other across the tree tops. So many different songs.

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We stood very still, our toes underwater, balanced on river rocks, and stared, astonished that little rainbow colored fish dared to come so close.

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The spell was quickly broken in the car, on the way home, where the boys bickered, smacked their bubble gum and I croaked along to Queen’s, “Under Pressure.” But still, something of the day has stuck.

I drained the color from all our photos, and it has made them more. I’m left wondering, what would I see, what songs would I hear, if I could peel away the distractions in our life?

Sarah Jackson July 30, 2007 at 11:04 pm

Really beautiful post. Your day was the opposite of mine (spent in Chinatown) but I somehow achieved a similar peace that rose from the hustle and bustle and everything going on around me. Funny how the very busy and the very quiet can produce the same effect….

Jessicah July 31, 2007 at 2:05 am

Your photographs are beautiful- and words so inspiring. I like how by taking the colour away you can see the photos better- it has a nice symmetry with closing your eyes to hear better.

Ellie July 31, 2007 at 2:14 am

Just beautiful. Those photos are silence and peace. And your words are laughter, fun, entertainment, excitement, life. We are like you morning times (well – me mainly. The kids are up and bouncy, sometimes before the sun is up!). I’m glad you found a softening and stillness to counteract your hustled morning. Its so lovely (and often rare) having that inner mind quiet.

Holly C. July 31, 2007 at 4:45 am

Oh-that was a lovely post. I love your blog! You are such a fun mommy.

dana July 31, 2007 at 5:29 am

We love to go hiking. Thanks for the reminder to go do it. Your photographs TOTALLY capture the serene quietness!

Heather July 31, 2007 at 6:47 am

thank you for the photos and the reminder to be open to peace… it made my day.

Molly July 31, 2007 at 9:04 am

Just don’t peel away the distraction that is the internet. Your blog is like a rainbow fish daring to come close in this cyberstream.

leslie July 31, 2007 at 11:09 am

sweet! i thought my eyes had gone buggy at first, but loved the black and white, really nice. i put rock floors in most of our house (the installer said “i think they made a mistake!” when he opened the box and i said “no mistake here! put em down!” ) so basically i have the floor you could hose down, just forgot to put in a drain… would have if i could have though. ha ha!

erin July 31, 2007 at 11:33 am

funny how life throws you those little bones!

Leigh-Ann July 31, 2007 at 2:39 pm

i’m listening to Under Pressure right now…inspired by Supermom 🙂 Lovely photos and moments!
ps> nice new bandanner…get it?! lol

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