Silence

Deanna Eppers
4 min readNov 13, 2022

Between heartbeats is silence. No highway noise, no birdsong, no crickets. Just silence meeting my face, pushing up against my body; insistent and persistent. Heading inside I feel the absence of my husband, my cat, and my children.

If I turn on the washer or dryer I suppose the quiet will subside, but eventually all I hear is the thin ringing in my ears and nothing else. I’ve spoken to my mother, and my best friend and yet I’m not prepared for this winter quiet. For today it snowed, which is terribly unusual for November, and as beautiful as the white world is, the silence screams at me now.

I like days full of the raucous calls of birds and the distant barking of neighborhood dogs, and when twilight descends slowly, more slowly than the longest kiss; hearing the cicadas, frogs, owls and crickets makes me feel surrounded and settled. I love the lingering light in the sky, and even if I’m home alone, I feel loved and content.

Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash

But this sudden winter that descended in less than a day makes me turn on music. The silence isn’t welcome just yet. I’m not ready. The crickets still sang to me in the short evenings only yesterday, but when I woke up to branches limned in white while the air swirled with bright flakes of frozenness, all I thought was it came early. Too early?

What do you do when faced with an empty home, empty arms or empty days filled with empty promises? How do you pick yourself up and make yourself go on?How do you dwell in the dull dreary hours?

When the walls of your world close in around you, squeezing every drop of energy from your limbs, how do you find the strength to move in spite of the pain, and the drain on your emotions? I have my faith which propels me forward most of the time, but I have hours where I wonder about the pain in life.

Today was beautiful as all first snowfalls are, but I’m from the Northeast where snows stayed long past March and wore out their welcome after Christmas. I skied, sledded, ran and lived a life under sodden skies, and after a life of snow, we moved a bit south where two inches is enough to shut down schools.

Photo by Maddy Baker on Unsplash

When the kids and I headed outside today to revel in the snow laden grasses that were meant to be cut back today by my landscaper, the beauty of every space outdoors coated by silvery whiteness brightened my heart. The cheeriness of my grandchildren made me thrilled to pack snowballs and trace deer tracks in the yard.

We had a full day, with my daughter dragging out my fake (faux sounds so elegant, though) Christmas trees, knowing a first snow makes us ready for that sweet season, but after they left I settled down to the quiet and solitude. The lack of sleep isn’t helping my mood much, but I do wonder how we soldier on in the face of our personal winters.

One of my Christmas trees glows with a soft white light, and even though I haven’t managed to do much today after watching the kids, the lights buoy my spirits. Even if you live where no snow kisses your eyelashes, you can revel in the wonder of a quieter season falling down around you.

Winter is meant for tough souls, and this early brush with winter has me thinking it’s time to brace myself.

Maybe we make it through this world by facing into the winds, staring down the long days of darkness and refusing to give up. We toil on, hopeful for those days when we can embrace the winter as a child does; full of enthusiasm, purpose and happiness. Perhaps children see the beauty of each season as it comes no matter what the calendar says, for they cannot yet read them.

I hear the crackle of the fire now, and I’m ready to settle into the night. The room is warm, and I’m going to light some candles. I hope you feel the hopefulness, too, whatever season you are in.

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Deanna Eppers

Musician, ex-CPA at KPMG Peat Marwick, volunteer, decorator, renovating another house, mom to three, wife to one, blogs about finding happiness