This I Believe

Dannielle - Bardstown, Kentucky
Entered on February 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that silence is the greatest sound of all. I have learned so many things while I was being silent and listening to the world around me. I have heard the small things that are often forgotten and ignored, and in my opinion, these things are the things that are the best part of life. The sound of a child laughing, the leaves as they crunch in fall, the stories of my grandparents that I have all too often been “too busy” to listen to; these are the sounds that have changed me. Noise would have ruined these sounds.

I can remember as a little girl watching my grandfather’s shaking hands as he would whittle a block of wood into a new toy for me. It is not the toys that bring a smile to my face as I drift back in time to these days. It was the stories he would tell me as he would whittle. At that age, the stories seemed to be the idle ramblings of an old man. Now, as I look back and remember these wonderful stories, I can cherish the memories. Each story brings to mind special moments. Special moments shared with one of the most interesting men I have ever known. I would anxiously await the completion of my new toy as I sat on the old wooden porch next to my grandfather. I quietly watched as his hands whittled that ordinary piece of wood into a toy that would provide me with hour upon hour of entertainment. These same moments spent with me quietly listening to word after word, sentence after sentence, story after story forming pictures in my mind of wonderful things. Stories he remembered from his childhood of significant happenings.

My grandfather told me these stories for many reasons. Perhaps my grandfather’s motivation for telling these stories was only to encourage me to keep still while he whittled, but I believe he had a deeper reason. I believe he wanted to teach me how to be silent. His stories of days long past provided many hours of amusement as I listened to each one.

Today, with my grandfather no longer here on Earth to provide the hours of loving enjoyment, I am able to feel his love by reliving his vivid tales. I relive these loving, precious memories of my time with my grandfather simply by replaying the stories as I sit in silence.