Noise is all around me, from the moment I wake up, to long after my head hits the pillow at night. Whether it be the radio, a crescendo of voices, the sound of cars whizzing by, the wind, an animal, the bleeping of a cell phone, or even the turn of pages in a book, there is constant sound accosting me at any given moment. At times, I am tempted to just scream to drown it all out.
Every year since I was six years old, my family has gone on vacation to a small town up north – a place where everyone knows everyone, and everyone’s business. The town is on the coast of Lake Michigan, and in the summer is always jammed with tourists. We rent a cabin set between two lakes, and out the window is nothing but water – where true silence exists. I can be utterly alone with nature, high on the picturesque dunes, with trees, sand, and lake as far as the eye can see. Here no one will interrupt my thoughts. Just seeing another person is a rarity. When it rains, the rain is peaceful. Instead of being annoyed that I didn’t bring an umbrella with me and must interrupt my day to change my clothes like I would have at home, I relish the feel of being soaked to the skin, with nothing between me and my thoughts. The beach is mine and mine alone. The swings, the fire pit, the dock, the water, all of it mine. Even the empty filet house and its stench belong to me. I am all alone, and this is how I like it. This little spit of a town feels like home, and is the only place on earth that I feel truly free and at ease.
Without all the extra noise I run into everywhere else, I can relax and do nothing. No matter where I am, I always feel rushed and pressured because of all the things I hear. No one understands that I need quiet. The cabin that has become my second home has no TV, no computer, no stereo, and no telephone. When I am cut off from the noise of the world, things are so much simpler. It’s perfect. And it’s quiet. Too much noise and I think the whole world will go mad one day. I believe in silence.
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