It is cold here; not the bone deep cold of winter but you can feel it coming, the tendrils of Jack Frost are creeping in and where they touch the perfect, cold, silence of winter is already evident. It is still technically fall but tonight, it is winter. The snow is squeaking, crunching underfoot, the stars are brilliant diamonds in the night time sky and when you stop and listen, it is ... silent.
Those of you who live in cities or towns won't know what I mean but those of you who live in the country will recognize that silence. It is complete, all encompassing; your ears and your mind strain to hear a sound but there is none. You stand in the cold, in the night, under the vault of the universe and it is ... silent. No birds, no wind, no cars, no sirens, no voices, no music ... silence.
And then you hear ... your breathe. You hear ... your heartbeat. You hear ... the creak of a tree as the cold settles in and then you hear the faint, whispered voice of a wild bird as the tree that it has sheltered in for the night protests at the cold. And you hear, far in the distance, the hoot of an owl as it forages on the night wind. And you hear the squeak and crunch of the snow under the paws of your dogs as they impatiently wait for you to continue on their night time walk.
And you realize, that within the silence of the cold and the night and the foreshadowing of winter is the sound of ... life. And you stop, and you listen, and you are thankful beyond words for your life, for the beautiful country in which you live and you are thankful for the silence that is not really silent at all.