My husband was the first to disturb Her. He loped around the house, snored in great huffs at night, captured me in conversation at the dinner table. As my marriage unfolded, She sulked in the corner of my life, moody and listless, still catching snatches of time over a morning cup of coffee or after he had gone to bed. She and I used to dance all the time, bodies pressed together in ecstasy, the feel of her made my mind explode with ideas, dreams, fantasy places. I could go anywhere in her hush.
When my first child was pulled, wet and bloody, from the womb She looked on in horror. After the mucus was sucked from his mouth and nose he screamed and She walked out. I’d look for her, late at night, as I woke every few hours to put the baby to my breast. I’d listen for her in the wind of the trees as my husband and I pushed the stroller around the cul-de-sac. But the reality of my life kept her away.
My second child stayed in my womb as long as she could, refusing to come (as she still does) when the doctor called. Perhaps she sensed the noise of my life and preferred to dance with her Quiet in the security of my womb. So they put me to sleep, a mask over my nose and mouth, a needle in my spine, and I drifted away. I dreamed I was with Quiet again, sitting on the porch as the sun went down, watching the sky turn orange, blush rose, blue, and then black. We snacked on almond slivers, the crunch between my teeth the only sound breaking our reverie. Slipping between the cool sheets of the bed, my legs kick out wide, glorifying in the freedom of all that space.
When I awoke, another mouth to feed lay swaddled in her crib beside my bed. I leaned forward to catch a glimpse of baby girl, my stomach shrieking in protest. Her eyes bobbed beneath her closed eyelids and the tiny holes in her nose widened with each breath. She sucked on her lower lip as if chewing on a good dream. I imagined she was dreaming of the Quiet she knew once too. Filled with new love I whispered over her head, “Don’t worry, baby girl, you’ll find Her again one day.”
I lay back down to contemplate the noise of my now-crowded life. I couldn’t ask for more, yet I wanted less. I was fully alive, yet dead tired.
I would learn to dance with the riches of my new life. I would come to treasure the cacophony of giggles that filled my house. I would never live in regret. But Quiet is my home, my peace, my muse. I shall stalk Her like a madman. I shall pursue Her like the one lost sheep. I shall fret over Her like the mother whose baby has wandered away. And I will find Her…as we all do…in the end.