Save for a few months as a child, I have always had neighbors. I have always had a road-generally a busy one-very close to my house. The most recent home had a VERY busy road right out front. It was on the same street as the local fire department. I assume it was very helpful if you had a fire, but thankfully we never had to find out. The sirens would wail at all hours of the night, and we would sleep right through them.
If the firetrucks and ambulances weren't blaring their sirens, the local teens were filling the air with the beat of their favorite bass line. Random people would walk through our yard on their way to the corner store or the park. Talking and carrying on about their day.
There was also a road merge in front of our house. Every few months, someone would fail to notice the merge until they had plowed their car into the back of a driver who was attempting to turn onto the cross road. Just before we moved, a young girl was on her cell phone and managed to spin her car right into the neighbor's tree.
For a number of years, we had a neighbor that liked to set off fireworks. It came in very handy on the Fourth of July when you simply had to sit out in your back yard for a beautiful display of loud rockets. It was NOT so handy in May, or August, or the middle of the night in October when he found a stash of bottle rockets in his shed he had forgotten. It was a bit of a relief when he moved ;).
I knew that moving here to the farm we wouldnt have the hustle of bustle of passing cars and loud neighbors. What I didnt realize that even silence has a sound.
Once all the city noises faded away, I was surprised to find out how much noise my refrigerator, washer, drier, furnace, and even random light fixtures make. At first, I thought someone was coming up the lane, only to realize that it was the furnace preparing to kick on. There is a train in the very far distance that rumbles in the middle of the night. The first few weeks it would wake me up, and again I thought it was someone coming up the lane. Then there are the grain bins. Not just ours, but others in the neighborhood. When their fans are running they can be pretty loud. Its a soft, steady sound that is easy to sleep to.
But, then there are the sounds of nature. This winter has brought many windy storms. The wind truly does have a voice. It is low and long and fierce. It rattles the branches and they brush against the windows.
I am often awakened to the sound of coyotes howling in the night, or the sound of the Blue Jays and Cardinals chirping at each other in the morning. The neighbors dogs, which are free to run the countryside, stop by our farm to play a game of tag. The sound of cows mooing can be heard of the wind is just right.
When I go to get the mail from our box, I see no one. But, I hear the sound of snow falling to the ground, or the sound of mud squishing beneath my boots. I see the sky, trees, fields, and a bird or two flying for cover in our trees. I hear the bushes rustle as a big brown rabbit burrows in.
I hear the Lord. I see his beautiful creations and the way he has put them in motion. I see the shelters he has provided for even the tiny little birds and the quiet rabbits. I see the expansive fields, ready for planting another crop. I see the tree, grown in a perfect shape for my children to climb. I see two large Vultures circling a field for their meal. I see the tracks left behind by Deer that hide in the thicket. I am reminded that He who created these beautiful and wondrous things, loves me, cares for me, is watching over me, and He is guiding me through each day.
He wants me to hear silence. He has asked me to be still. For in the silence, in the stillness, is where I hear Him the loudest.