If, like me, you have a teenager in the house, chances are you may have gone (or will be going) Christmas shopping together. In the teen shopping world, this probably means going to stores where the pop music is booming and you may not be able to see the merchandise clearly. Mentioning no names, but there is a particular well-known high street store where the customer experience resembles that of a Californian beach party at dusk.
Just lately, I’ve been deliberately switching off and reducing or eliminating unnecessary noise. It started with my commute. There’s a point where I have to do a tricky right turn on a bend to go over a narrow bridge at Stoneleigh. By switching off the radio, I become more focussed and attentive to what is around me. I also hope that I am safer. By that point in my journey, in any case, I know the news from BBC Radio 4’s Today. I have probably heard the same stories more than once already.
A constant buzz
Have you noticed how many of us fill our lives with constant sound? Earphones and mobile devices facilitate this, of course. However, if you switch off for a few minutes, there is time for the brain to work on things you may not have given yourself space to consider. You might reflect on what has passed, imagine what is to come and hypothesise about particular situations. Ideas may simply pop into your head. There are many possibilities.
The sound of silence
When you switch off, of course, you become more aware of your surroundings. On a Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. the bell-ringers at Leek Wootton have their weekly practice. Imagine the lovely sound of church bells wafting up across the fields, to our little corner of Warwickshire. It’s this kind of magic that I want to conjure up this Christmas.#
The quietest moment
Of course, the time we notice the silence most is on Christmas morning itself. I love that sense of quiet, as though the whole world is sleeping. The same is true after snow fall. A ‘silent night’ (or day) may become a truly ‘holy’ or ‘blessed’ one, as sounds and thoughts re-enter your world. What follows? Sleep – in heavenly peace.
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