It was so quiet when I got up this morning that I imagined I could hear the delicate mist of Seattle rain as it tiptoed a landing onto my roof.
In reality, I could hear no such thing. My house, like most modern houses, is never truly silent. Every mechanical or electrical gadget contributes to a background noise we have all become so accustomed to that we rarely notice it anymore.
So I decide to tune in. Just out of curiosity.
The first thing I notice is the clock on my wall, which is the kind that either ticks or tocks to mark each second. Day in and day out, that clock provides a steady beat, yet I rarely hear it.
Then the refrigerator kicks in with a series of random clanks and bangs it is fond of contributing several times a day, I assume to let me know it is doing its job. As the last bang fades away, I realize what I had thought of as silence from the refrigerator is in reality an incessant whirl that fills in all the blank spaces and assures that the house is never truly quiet.
Outside a car motor revs into life just in time to distract me from that ever-present refrigerator, and I listen as the purr of the engine gets louder, then fades away, taking who-knows-who to some kind of adventure who-knows-where.
As the last vestiges of the purr fades away it is replaced by the steady drone of a plane engine. But before my brain has time to focus on the plane, the loud wail of a siren from a nearby fire station rents the air and overwhelms every other sound in a 10 block radius.
Ah, yes. There is nothing like morning quiet.