I’ve been up at some point in the middle of the night nearly every night since becoming a mother almost 9 years ago. Whether it’s a noise, crying child, dog walking through the house with tags jingling, storms rumbling in the distance or sirens, it’s generally my ears that hear it all first.
A few nights ago somewhere after 4am, I shuffled back downstairs after tending to Harper and came upon Toby, our chocolate lab, waiting back door asking to go out. Nothing unusual.
I opened the door, let him out, began to close it and stopped.
The air was crisp, but not cold. There was a luminosity to the waning night lingering on the trees and something invited me to venture out. I walked through the doorway and stepped onto the deck and walked toward the railing and stood.
I leaned over, rested my elboes on the rail and my face in the palms of my hands. Watching Toby saunter around the yard finding the perfect place, I gazed up at the stars and moon. I peered into the trees and looked into the darkness. Eventually, I found myself struck by the silence. Aside from the tags clinking from around Toby’s neck, it was a deafening silence.
I had wandered into this magical time of the night just before the transition to early morning.
A time when I’d imagine the creatures of the night have thrown up their respective white flags and have retreated to their corners. The hunters are sleeping off their evening feasts and the prey who survived the hunt have retreated themselves in silence to soak in their victory.
The birds had yet to awaken from their evening naps and the movement of the air in the trees was so gentle as to not rustle the branches. There were no crickets, no frogs. Nothing but silence.
I don’t have many moments of complete silence and peace in my life. Someone or something is always vying for my attention and my time. Silence, real silence, is something I forget exists. Our lives are chaotic. Not a bad thing, just a reality and quite simply why this moment in time and the silence struck me so deeply.
I wish I was a morning person. I wish I didn’t need all the sleep I do and that I don’t get enough of. I wish the pace of our lives slowed enough so that I could enjoy this moment in time more often.
Yet, I now know where I can go to find a peaceful silence while everyone and everything is still sleeping. With a hot cup of coffee, I can begin my day with the awakening of the lives all around me and the silence that it all emerges from.
I may not venture there often, but it’s immensely reassuring to know that a silent night garden all my own exists in a moment in time if I need it.