Sometimes I just have to get away. It is noisy and distracting for me at our house. The girls vie for my attention and the toilets, floors, sinks, and the top of the refrigerator chorus accusingly that they have not received enough. I often find myself longing for a place of solitude and quiet. My ears grow tired of the constant cacophony of humanity that seems to follow me everywhere.
My heart, no ... my soul ... longs for a place where the only sounds to be heard are the breeze, the birds, the splash of water.
In a huff I flee my house to find a quiet place to write. Success!
But as I sit down, spreading gear around myself like a sandwich board reading "Don't talk to me," a train horn blares and the rumble of engine straining against an impossible weight reverberates the air around me. So I wait, fingers poised above plastic keys.
Children just a bit older than our own come to splash in the fountain. The pleasant ring of water droplets chasing one another erupts with shouts, shoes plopping wetly onto the sidewalk, girls accusing one another of pooping (pardon me??) in the water. I write anyways.
"Load up!" Relief. Grandma's call turns sticky faces homeward. Finally, just me, God, and the summer cry of cicadas!
Until another car pulls in next to mine. This place is Grand Central station today! Who told everyone about my quiet place? It is (no exaggeration here, I just looked at my phone) 100 degrees out? Why aren't you people in the air conditioning?
Two men excitedly spill out of their SUV. Pokemon? No, they aren't grasping cell phones. Perhaps walking sticks? Maybe they are hikers? Until I see the thin discs about the size of a frisbee on the end. Metal detectors. What a strange place to use metal detectors?
A sound like nails on a chalkboard echoes across the square, a chorus of ringing echoes bouncing off the buildings around us. Squealing, squawking ... one of the man erupts with excitement and drops to his knees, calling out to his cohort "Two seconds and I'm already onto something!"
"A penny! A 2007 penny!"
Bearded man "What?"
"A 2007 penny!" His voice to me would relay something along the lines of "The lapel pin of George Washington!"
Bearded man "What was that?"
"I found a 2007 penny! Right here!"
Great. I bet it's worth a penny. The cynic in me screams.
But you know what? It's two people out enjoying their hobby on a Sunday afternoon. Just like me. So I stop glaring up at them between lines. And I realize I kinda miss my noisy little distractions who will probably be waking up from their nap soon.
As much as my soul longs for the quiet of a wilderness, to be alone with God, I know the day will come when I will miss all the noise. So I say a prayer of thanks for the screams, the squeals, the songs, the cries, and the endless "Mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy?" that currently fills my days, and my heart.