I Hear the Quiet Outside

I heard silence in place of the bell that continued to ring, although no children were nearby to hear it sing. The constant chiming, reminding me many things over the last three weeks, now quiet. The silence that remains, inspired the following lines.

A school nearby silenced
three drawn-out chimes.
The ringing countdown
now unnecessary for
there are no students
to motivate and remind.
School administrators
resistant to turn off the
symbolic echo in which
their day was confined.
Not wanting to complete
the difficult quiet task –
silencing the sound that
kept students, parents,
and teachers on track.
Resigned now, for they
must let go of what
they cannot control.

The futile bell brought
forth memories of rushed
drop-offs, scurrying shoes,
playground laughter, and,
too many cars in the
crowded neighborhood.
Bothersome at first –
scenes remembered.
For the redundant
rippling rings also
brought reminders
of a lively existence
that abruptly ended
just four weeks ago.
Like an abandoned
school, daily thoughts
now shelter fading
shadows and ghosts.
Silence now in place
of the ringing routine
with its hurry-up tone.

   I miss the reminders.
    I miss the scurrying.
     I miss the laughter.
      I miss the sounds.

Silence now, not sounds,
but a void need not remain.
The silence has revealed
itself and it is bringing
forth guarded secrets.
The silence is teaching
me valuable lessons
that can easily escape
from the constant demands
of an overflowing mind
and an over-scheduled day.

The silence is loud, but
it need not be feared.
I can fill the quiet space
with inspired daydreams –
ignoring for far too long,
with guided mediation –
connecting to everyone,
with aimless thoughts –
expanding a long day,
with music and dance –
moving body and soul,
or allow the knowing
stillness to envelop,
to protect, and teach
all I need, all it knows.
I can revisit people and
places. There are no limits
to where my mind can go.
I can watch the shadows
and the ghosts disappear
or watch as they linger
a bit longer in my mind,
on deserted playgrounds.

Wherever the quiet directs,
whatever the quiet reveals,
I have heard more than
enough to understand.
I now recognize the
quiet promises of silence –
neither empty nor broken.
In the silence is where
our unasked questions
are unveiled, delivering
honest answers and
a return to ourselves.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my poem about the loud quiet outside. I know that for many people quarantined with family, it may be anything but quiet inside. 😉

I pray you stay healthy and enjoy your weekend, in any way that you can. If you are working to keep our communities safe, healthy, and moving forward, please know, you are in my prayers. 🙏 May you continue to find inspiration from both the quiet outside and the chatter within. Michele ❤️

Picture 1: Sunset @ Sabino Canyon, Tucson, Arizona Picture 2: Quiet and sealed off playground in my neighborhood Picture 3: Bike ride along New River Trail

Copyright © 2020 Michele Lee Sefton. All Rights Reserved.

2 thoughts on “I Hear the Quiet Outside

  1. kdkinaz

    Good morning! Lovely and poignant as always. I am struck with sadness when I pass an empty schoolyard. But I pray other, often more important lessons are being learned while children are at home.

    Please forgive me. It was only last night that I read Story 48. I, too, am blessed by the love and energy of countless women. Your acknowledgment is so kind. Keep inspiring. It is your gift😊 Take care and best to John, too. Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello and Happy Easter weekend. 🤗 “Happy” feels like a strange word choice right now, but I believe there are still many happy moments to be had. So true – many important lessons are happening outside of the classroom, that like this situation, students (and parents) might always remember. My heart goes out to all of the parents managing the task of teaching schoolwork and working. Love and patience is more important than perfection right now (maybe always). Their perseverance and strength is admirable. Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. Best to your family too. 💓

      Like

Leave a Reply to Michele Lee Sefton Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s