The Quiet

By | August 8, 2019
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The Quiet

Yesterday, as I do almost every day, I took a long walk. Lately, I’ve been walking about 4 miles – 6.4 km – a day. And I’ve been doing those kinds of walks for quite some time now. And I know, I’m blessed. Over the past ten years, I’ve had my share of health problems, but it’s smooth sailing for now, and I’m very thankful.

Anyway… my walk yesterday turned out to be quite a pensive one. I think the walk turned pensive because of The Quiet. The only sound I heard during my walk was the sound of the white, cottony clouds floating across the crystal-blue sky.

In other words, the only sound was silence.

There’s nothing wrong with silence. Silence is almost always a good thing. But the silence on my walk yesterday was a peculiar silence. The quiet made a good petri dish for thoughts and visions that stretched far beyond the confines of my walk on an otherwise ordinary summer day.

I’ve been on this Earth for more decades than I care to think about. While I walked through the quiet yesterday the summer day reached into the recesses of my mind where memories of summer days long passed reside.

I remember the summer days when I was young. Back then, summer days were filled with the sounds of children playing baseball in the park, or riding bicycles or playing hide-and-go-seek.

The ice cream man circled the town with his jingle-jangle music playing that told children to beg dimes and quarters so they could buy ice cream and other frozen novelties from the ubiquitous ice cream man.

There was always the distant clinking, clattering cacophony from the junkyard just over the railroad tracks.

When I was growing up – so long ago – it seemed that summer days were symphonies of happy sounds. The world seemed alive and content. At least in my little world, it did.

On my one-hour walk that took me through many different neighborhoods, I saw no children playing outside – no kids playing ball in the park, no one riding a bike, no kids playing tag. A beautiful summer day wasted.

Were the kids inside with tablets, or computers, or smartphones, mesmerized by the almost irresistible allure of the Internet? We’re they playing games online? Chatting? Making plans?

Last weekend, in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, there were horrific mass shootings. Dozens died, dozens more were injured, and who knows how many thousands more whose lives will never be the same.

These mass shootings were the 249th and 250th in the United States in 2019 – and the year is far from being over yet.

I don’t remember things being like this when I was young. I’m sure they weren’t.

I thought about a lot of things on my walk through The Quiet yesterday. All the kids were still off school on summer vacation, yet in an hour, walking through residential neighborhoods, I saw not a single kid outside – on a very beautiful, pleasant summer day.

What’s going on? Is the Internet the root cause of the problem? Does instant news, deep fake videos where real people are shown uttering words they never said, propaganda spread by ideological extremists the cause?

Are our moral compasses out-of-kilter because they are constantly being bombarded with information of all kinds – factual and not?

What is going on? What can we do.

There are no simple solutions, but everyone likes to think simple solutions like:

We need fewer guns.
We need more gun control.
We need more laws.
We need more of this or that.

There are no simple solutions for complex problems.

But I think we can start out admitting that we do need are less hate and more understanding. We really need to stop worrying about what others think and start looking inside ourselves.

And maybe we’re at the point where we need to give more thought to things before we leap into new technologies that lead to unknown places.

We don’t need more laws and more governmental meddling –  we have more than enough of those already.

We all need to be more understanding. We need parents who encourage their kids to put down the smartphones, tablets, and laptops and go outside and enjoy those beautiful summer days like yesterday.

We need parents who want to be parents and not just grown-up buddies for their children.

I don’t know where the world is headed, but I’m pretty sure it’s not headed to a good place. While my time on this earth grows shorter with each passing day, I do worry for my grandchildren who have their whole lives ahead of them.

I don’t know what the answer is, but I’m sure we can’t keep on keeping on like we are.

I finished my walk through The Quiet yesterday feeling uneasy and my pensiveness turned to concern and wondering where our country and our world are headed.

And as it turned out, The Quiet wasn’t so quiet after all.

8 thoughts on “The Quiet

  1. Marj

    I too have experienced similar walks and thoughts, and I think am quite a few years ahead of you
    I appreciate your putting these thoughts and ramblings in print here..

  2. Irwin Thorncraft

    I found myself taking that walk with you yesterday, and wonder if, although I am an Australian, whether as I understand your country was founded, and still bears reference to the statement ‘In God we trust’ . Perhaps all of us might be forgetting that relying on our own human understanding may not be alloying us to the joys you related to, simply because we’ve neglected what our fore fathers thought was necessary when setting up our great countries. ‘In God we trust.

  3. Ruth

    AMEN … God Bless You
    You just earned 5 Stars for this one.
    I will be sharing this one with my friends.
    And you’ll never convince me that you are just a ‘cranky old man’

  4. Phyllis J Willis

    I know that more adults in the family are working and the children are carted off to day care centers or grandparents’ homes. It is sad as many times they don’t have a place to play outside or live in an area where it might not be safe to do so. My friends and I would be gone all day riding our bikes all over the place and my Mom was always at home to look out for me. Times have changed and not necessarily for the better.

  5. Bonnie

    Oh T.C., this is awesome. I agree with you 100%. If I can share this with my family and friends, I will. God’s blessings.

  6. Sharon Langdon

    Very well said, TC! If I let myself think about what this world is going to be like when my great-grandchildren reach adulthood, I can become very depressed. The children of today are in a very different world than the one we grew up in. I wish they could all learn to play, learn to respect others and learn love from their parents. And if they are not into religion, to at least acknowledge that there is a supreme being who created this wonderful world we have been given.

  7. Jean

    TC. You have put into words what I have been feeling and I thank you so much. What a complicated world we live in. How I wished my grandchildren could have experienced the kind of childhood we as the “older generation” had. But, let’s pray that the future will sometime get better than what it is.

  8. Lucy

    Hi TC…thank you for The Quiet journey. It touched me and confirms my feelings as well. Our country and our world have really gone through dramatic changes over the years of my existence, and I, too, am fearful of where we are headed. When some can talk to glibly about socialism and what a great plan that is….. they expose the fact that they have never been taught the history of socialism or of our country and have been duped by those who should know better but haven’t a clue. I’m thankful my days are numbered but worry about where the younger generation are headed will be a much different place and I don’t think it’ll be for the better. It’s so hard to believe that things have turned downwards so quickly. May God help us all.


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