It is rare to hear absolutely nothing. There are a few moments in every day, week, month, that I can notice a palpable silence and appreciate its emptiness. That’s not to say that the sound of my friends’ voices, or the pounding of footsteps in the school hallways are bothersome, rather that noticing their absence allows me to further appreciate their presence.
Of course the sound of silence can be appreciated by anyone just about anywhere in the country: a mother finally putting her crying infant to sleep, returning home to a house of stagnant air, waking up at the crack of dawn before the dogs and birds set in on their morning chatter. In fact, John Cage’s 4:33 is an ode to silence itself; it is a performance of four minutes and 33 seconds of tacit nothingness. So yes, silence is rare, but it is not unique. A song far more peaceful than that of silence and exclusive to our town is the lull of a river flowing over rocks and the flutter of a canopy disturbed by the wind. I refer to the Norwalk River Valley Trail.