Monday, November 13, 2017

Silence Is Golden/Sound of Silence

Nelson scuba diving - photo by Michael Mehta

One of the things I like best about swimming in the ocean or scuba diving is the silence. No sirens, honking of horns, or revving of engines. No garbage trucks roaring up and down the alleyways, no buses idling, no dump trucks and cement mixers grinding away. No mindless cellphone chatter, no beeping cash registers, not even any music.  Only yourself and what is around you.

Sunrise photo - by Junie Quiroga

Early morning is another good time to enjoy a little serenity. While most of the world is still sleeping I can have my coffee and newspaper, listen to the birds, and wait for everyone else to slowly wake up. No TV talking heads or radio announcers, no traffic reports or commercials, only peace and quiet and a chance to collect my thoughts.

Construction photos - by Junie Quiroga

However, peace and quiet is almost impossible right now in my neighbourhood, thanks to the overwhelming and incessant din of five different construction projects currently under way. Demolition crews taking down existing structures, drilling and excavating equipment in other places getting the sites prepared, and everywhere concrete being poured as the buildings slowly rise out of the mud. From early morning until end of day and sometimes into the evening the noise and attendant dust, fills the air.

Is there any end in sight? I doubt it and, as much as I love the bustle of city life, I can also see the bustling will only get more pronounced as more and more people move into the downtown and then have to find ways of getting around. In the meantime the decibel level keeps rising and we're all in danger of having our hearing damaged from all the construction noise.

Pigeons bathing - photo by Junie Quiroga

Still, if one takes a moment to step away from the hustle and bustle of our daily madness and look a little closer at our surroundings, there is always another perspective.  I may not appreciate a noisy cement truck blocking traffic and pouring water down the street but a group of pigeons was happy to take advantage of an ideal pop-up bathing facility. And for pigeons all these buildings are a good thing since they provide plenty of ledges to sit on.

But it was on Remembrance Day the sound of silence really hit home. For just a moment, at 11:00 a.m. things came to a sudden halt, people stopped what they were doing, and nobody spoke. Total silence. Such a profound way to mark the sacrifice of others and what an impact an absence of noise can make. It begs the question that if silence is golden why aren't we making more of it?

1 comment:

  1. This was such an interesting read. Its the first time when I'm seeing a post which is covering such important topics. Thanks for writing on it and keep it up.