On silence, and wanting too much

I’m in love with the silence of my house. On Monday mornings, when my son and then my husband finally leave, when the dogs lie content after their breakfast and the cats drowse after a night of scurrying on staircases, I light a candle and pick up my laptop and a book. My coffee cools next to me. My phone, that pesky nymph, faces down in do not disturb mode.

And today the silence seems stronger because thunder rumbles and wind thrashes through the trees. Today I am teary after a discussion that became argument, but the quiet space serves as a balm. His fault, my fault? Yes, no, it doesn’t matter.

Periodically we look at land. He wants 10 acres or so, close to town, with access to water and open spaces, someplace to live net zero. Or a smaller house very close to where we live now, except with a view. I want more acres, as much as we can get, and trees. Maybe a small creek or pond. Maybe ducks or chickens, goats if and when we do live there. I want to build green cabins and yurts, allow camping for my friends, and have a  spare but cozy mountain retreat for quiet, for hiking, for writing and daydreaming. And I want what I have now, a spacious, silent house in the city near friends, near Ben’s school, near Joe’s office, a place to host dinner parties and Christmas mornings.

I want too much, two disparate things, I think.

I worry about leaving the life and the relationships I have built here to go be with only one person as constant. I value my solitude, these quiet days, but what would happen without weekends on the veranda with my friends, long walks and occasional runs in the neighborhood, or dinners with my daughter? Those things make the quiet days sweeter.


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