I grew up falling asleep to the steady sounds of cars zipping along the West Side Highway. When we went to the country in the summer, it took several nights to adjust to the quiet before I could fall asleep.

When the power went out during Irene, our house was not only plunged into darkness, it was plunged into total silence. We live in a rural area and normally we hear only the birds in the day and the cicadas at night. Or so we thought. Our house evidently hums with electric appliances, noticeable only when they were no longer running.

Even power outage-enduced quiet is loud compared to a Maine night. I took Oliver out one final time and realized it was completely still. Not one leaf rustled, no one chirped, water didn’t lap against the rocks. The silence was absolute.

Our home is peaceful, but there is so much to do, it is hard sometimes to appreciate the quiet. In Maine, on a dirt road by the water, it is possible to let your mind go still, watching seals in the morning or the Camden Hills turn purple at sunset.

Camden Hills at sunset
Camden Hills at sunset

Quieting your mind restores you, giving you time to reflect and organize your thoughts, and prepare for noisy life.

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