Country Quiet

January 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm (Life, Memoir) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

It is Sunday. The city is quiet; city quiet. I’m just two blocks from two major roads so I can still hear the occasional traffic. The apartment building I live in is also quiet. Every once in a while I can hear someone come in the main door. Because I live mere feet from a semi-major roadway and almost right on the sidewalk, in a ground floor apartment, I never get away from noise completely. The bus stops outside my kitchen window and people walk by on the sidewalk any time, day or night, all through the seasons though there is less night traffic now that it is winter.

Last Sunday I had company and slept on the couch instead of in the bedroom. I was more aware of the normal overnight city noises because I normally keep a fan going in my bedroom overnight to act as white noise so that I don’t hear the city talk. It was a restless night. I got woken up quite regularly and gave up on getting a deep sleep after the beep beep of the grader backing up at four am woke me from a delicious dream.

I went back to the country for the recent holidays. My mother lives in a small town that houses less than a thousand persons. I swear most everyone was elsewhere. The quiet was almost apocalyptic. I would not have been surprised to see the frozen dead arising from the graveyards; silently, quietly arising.

I walked around on Boxing day. It was beyond quiet. I could concentrate on hearing each individual breath that I took. I felt invisible, a mere shadow in an alternative universe. I saw no one. I saw no evidence of recent activity. It was day, so my all too over active imagination kept itself reined in. I did not wonder if I had entered the Twilight Zone; I did not hope to have time enough at last.

City quiet. Country quiet. I’ve experienced both. I’ve experienced more. I can differentiate between city quiet, suburban quiet, rural quit and country quiet; between big Q quiet and little q quiet. I call this post Country Quiet but it properly should be called Rural Quiet or Small Town Quiet.

Quiet. Listen. There are nuances in the quiet. A true country quiet occurs when one is all alone in the middle of no where. My eldest sister yearns for a house in the country, serviced by secondary rural roads, the closest neighbour miles away. This country quiet gives me shivers; makes me have flashbacks to reading The Shining. This type of country quiet is too quiet. I prefer a city quiet.

Going back made me rehear the quiet; the quiet that is and is not silent, that is not really quiet. I hear my breath, my footfalls, the rustling of the snow, the birds, the breeze in the trees, the dogs barking across town and the quiet rustle of highway traffic. Is it Quiet or is it quiet?



  1. On Paper Wings said,

    Great post- love this kind of quiet!

  2. giggles said,

    Great post… loved the visuals too! I like the in-between. I’ve had both, although I love the country, there is a loneliness that can invade… the city is too much bustle, but the in-between, suburban…is where to be, sometimes a buzz other times quiet…love it!

    Hugs Giggles

  3. Chapter Forty said,

    Amazing images of snow. First time I saw snow I was astonished it fell so quietly.

    Your post reminds me of listening out for those quiet moments, when everyone stops talking in a room, or when there is a break in the traffic. When I lived on a busy main road I used to imagine the waves of traffic as waves washing on the shore… I dont think my mind was ever really convinced.

    Quiet can be so calming, and noise so exciting!


  4. Porsha said,

    Luv’d this post so very much!

    • Marion said,

      Superb post! I like the country Quiet, having lived in the country for most of my life. I can’t sleep in City Quiet, although I find it exciting and stimulating to stay in the city. But after a few nights, I’m ready to go home and find the fields and roads and places feet deep in snow where the Quiet really takes over..

      This is a great post about Winter Quiet…city or country. Thank you so much!

  5. solitaryspinster said,

    Thanks everyone for the comments.

    😉 gigi

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