The Sound of Silence

Living “underground” tends to dampen the sound from outside. With all the windows closed the wind can howl, the rain can fall and for the most part, the only sounds we hear are from the inside of our home: the ticking of the clock, crackle of the fire, post-flush continuous refilling of the toilet (gotta get that fixed!), the snoring of the dog, the hum of the refrigerator. These sounds are the background music of our everyday winter life.

But take days and days worth of snow, mix with 40 °F rain, stir via wind gusts and the outside makes itself aurally known. Evergreen trees whipping back and forth release their flocking in bridal veil showers and resounding thumps. Ice-encrusted sheets of snow splinter, calving from our roof top like mini-glaciers. It’s too dark to see outside but the crunches and crashes send me hurriedly through the house checking for cracked windows. Surely, something that loud had to come from inside the house.

  • As the finite supply of kinetically charged snow completes its tumble, quiet descends once again. The dog stands down from alert mode and resumes snoring while curled up in front of the fireplace. Our concrete cocoon once more plays only our winter score. And we wake up in the morning to a bare roof, unflocked trees, and a snowscape pock-marked with craters, already dissolving away in the weak morning sunlight.

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