We’ve been friends since before birth, I suppose. I imagine I first heard you in the swoosh-swoosh of my mother’s heartbeat before I ever saw the sun.
Then you came to my crib, rocked me to sleep at night, lifted me into a new morning each day.
I liked you very much as a little girl. I sought you out by climbing high into a backyard tree. The curve in that limb made a seat, remember? You and I would sit for hours with only the song of the wind swirling around us and the words of a book to keep us company.
But then I grew and people began to tell me things about you. Not directly perhaps, but still they did all the same. I learned that the world thought a lot more of your cousin Noise, for example. You seemed soft, shy, a silhoutte on the backdrop of life. Noise was center stage, bold, brash.
So, I’m ashamed to say this now, I started spending less time with you. Maybe it wasn’t cool (and I so wanted to be cool). Maybe I feared being left out as you often seemed to be. Perhaps you even made me a little uncomfortable.
Whatever the reason, I drifted away. You, sweet Quiet, remained loyal and sought me out–as I was driving, taking a vacation, welcoming a new day. Often I simply overlooked you, choosing instead to turn up the radio or fill my schedule with Noise.
But lately, Quiet, I’ve been missing you. You feel a bit like an old friend who has popped into my awareness again and I find myself thinking, “We used to be so close. What happened? I really liked her.”
And I’ve realized no one ever took your place. Even now I’ll be standing in the middle of a party, going to a meeting, or ending a busy day and I’ll catch myself thinking, “I wish Quiet could be here.”
Then I feel a dull ache in my chest, a hunger almost, and I remember what it’s like to be together. I think of your gentleness, the way you open up the closed doors in and around me, how the world feels brighter–as if all the colors have been turned up–when I’m with you.
And I recall, Quiet, how you hardly ever come alone. First it’s you and then not long after it’s Him. Your silence is like a red carpet laid out for His presence in my life, my heart. At some moment you are there and then you fade without me even noticing and it’s the two of us, my Love and I.
It has taken me a long time to realize but now I know…when I’m missing you, I’m also missing Him.
So, dearest Quiet, thank you for your persistence. I’m sorry for not valuing you as I should. I know now you are one of the best friends I’ve been given in this life.
What I’m trying to say, trying to ask, is “Will you please come back to me, lovely Quiet?”
I’m here, at last, waiting for all you have to say to me…
* reposted from the archives while I’m away in Alaska this week