Silence Is Golden

When I was a child, I would take long walks down unpaved, winding country roads. Much of the land was undeveloped and sometimes there was two, three miles distance between houses. Often, I would hear a cow mooing in a pasture to my right or left, tiny birds chirping happily, even the occasional buzzard or chicken hawk overhead.

It was so quiet, I could hear voices on the telephone wires strung on wooden poles alongside the roads. (I was a bit curious as to how the faint voices could 'leak' from the wires. I'm sure there is a logical explanation though I never bothered to research. Sounds like a good rainy day project). Other than that, the world was virtually silent. Even the sound of an approaching A or B model Ford was pretty much a rarity.

As years passed, not for once did I ever think I would again experience that pristine quietness. And yet, I have.

With all the horrific tragedies brought about by the recent pandemic, also came a small, sweet reward to my doubting mind...silence.

There is virtually no traffic in my area at this time. And while it would be nice to hear the laughter of children playing in their back yards, strangely, I hear almost none.

For me, silence produces feelings associated with peace. I like that. But I'm not naive enough to think it would produce the same feelings in children with energy to burn. Their brains crave learning and knowledge. Sadly, with the onslaught of incoming data, comes noise to which they have become accustomed. It's unavoidable.

Still, there might be some advantage to our children experiencing this temporary quiet period in their lives. Maybe fifty years from now, with the world as we know it, a long gone thing of the past; they will reflect on the present quietness and maybe even relate to their grandchildren how at the time the silence seemed so boring and restrictive; in retrospect, it was indeed quite nice.

Silence puts you in a place closer to your own self. A therapeutic place we need occasionally in our hectic lives. In our rush to get things back to 'normal', let's not forget to take advantage of the current quietness. It might just be the last time you will ever have the opportunity.

Silence truly is golden.


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June 16, 20200 found this helpful

I did some research on those telephone conversations 'leaking from telephone wires'. Actually, there were gadgets called 'repeaters' placed along the wires, 40 to a mile. They were to strengthen the signal on its journey. Maybe the voices I heard were coming from the repeaters, instead.

Anyway, I thought it funny and nice to walk along a country road and seemingly from out of the air I would hear people talking to each other. (My cousins witnesses this too, so it wasn't just in my head). Any body else ever heard of this?

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June 16, 20201 found this helpful

We had a phone line from our house to my grandmother's house and there were two other houses connected to it as well. It was before we actually got phone service on our road.


It was an old crank phone. I walked under that line every day but never heard any voices. Maybe it's because no one was talking. It was plenty of silence back in those days and I loved it.

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June 18, 20200 found this helpful

Well written, thank you so much,
I can relate to so many point which you have made.
My own preference is silents as well - to achieve this, I wear noise cancelling head phones very often. This is a must for me since my husband LOVES noise. He will turn on the television and not watch; just to have noise!
The conclusion I come to is that we who love the silence are at peace with ourselves as well as with the world.
Once again, thank for validating my sense of being.

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June 18, 20201 found this helpful

I am lucky enough to live in a place where I have the kind of silence you describe 99% of the time (motorcycle weekend excluded).

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June 18, 20201 found this helpful

have to agree-its altering now-nearly back to normal,but the quiet roads and paths were wonderful the first few weeks.i love the peace! i love music,too,but rarely have it on at home because i prefer the quiet - glad im not the only one!x

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June 18, 20200 found this helpful

Your essay brings to mind the song "Wichita Lineman" by Glen Campbell:

"I hear you singin' in the wire,


I can hear you through the whine....."

Maybe the writer of those lyrics heard it too?

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June 18, 20200 found this helpful

Hearing voices from a telephone wire? No, there are no "voices" in the wire, only electricity. That's why we call the part we listen to the "receiver," because it receives the electrical impulses and converts them to sound. It's interesting that you heard faint voices out there in the middle of God's Little Acre - my guess would be that you weren't as alone as you thought you were, and were within earshot of people talking somewhere.

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June 22, 20200 found this helpful

Those repeaters, 40 to a mile, contained Bell Diaphragm Receivers (I don't know why) much like the one you mentioned. I agree, I didn't hear voices from the wires. That's where they seemed to originate. Until I am told differently by an expert lineman technician, I will believe the voices I heard came from the repeater recievers.


Funny how we knew all our lives that the only source of Vitamin D was from interactions with sunlight. We now know we didn't know what we thought we knew. It is now known that certain mushroom make their own D without any help from sunlight.

Your comment has sparked a renewed interest the voices on the wire. Actually, there were voices 'trapped' on wire at one time and released by the application of electricity. A particular instrument with a brief moment of fame and which was a forerunner of magnetic tape recordings was the wire recorder. The voice was recorded onto a wire rather than magnetic tape. I've always been interested in how those crude (by today's standards) machines actually worked. I will research that, as well.


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June 23, 20201 found this helpful

You brought back memories, Likekinds. Kids now don't know what they are missing.


Marg from England.

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