I often find myself awake before my family on weekend mornings. It's a time for me to enjoy the peace and quiet before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.
Leaving my hearing aid and cochlear implant processor behind in my trusty Dry and Store, I relish these silent mornings -- these times of muted quietness. It's a good time to reflect and ponder the world's problems and mine, as well. Uninterrupted by the noise pollution that plagues our cities and neighborhoods and homes. I can find my balance in my quiet ruminations. Sometimes, I catch up on world and local news online, or with friends and family on Facebook. I brush the dog and love on her a little bit. I drink my coffee leisurely and indulge in a bagel with cream cheese. I work a crossword. I ponder my week's lesson plans and browse education blogs for ideas. When weather permits, I sit on the patio and soak in the sunshine and the cool breeze against my face. And I write.
I've made peace with the silence.
It wasn't always so.
When I lost my hearing three years ago, I was abruptly thrust into perpetual silence. It was scary, to say the least. In a world that is inundated with noise, silence is a formidable presence. It was the elephant on my back. I could no longer fill that silence with music or television or conversation, as others do. It was a lingering and unrelenting presence that followed me wherever I went. I had to make peace with it, or I would go mad.
Hearing aids helped. But it's not the same. They are a necessary tool for communication with a world that requires --- sound.
But for now, I will be happy in this morning's silence. Soon my home will be filled with a mosaic of sound: voices and dishes clanking and water running and televised football games and music and laughter.
And I will retreat to my bedroom where I will don my hearing devices for this new day so I can join my family in this thing we call life.