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November 6, 1998

Too Quiet!

This morning I awoke at about 6:05 to dead silence. There was absolutely no sound whatever. I listened intently for the sound of a dog barking in the distance or perhaps a cow mooing. Nothing

It is another myth of farm or country life to think that it is quiet in the country. Nothing could be further from the truth and thus my disquiet at the silence that I encountered early this morning.

There were no birds singing, crickets chirping or frogs croaking. No bees buzzing or fly's doing whatever they do. In the early morning with a cloudy mind I found the whole experience disorienting. Had I gone deaf I wondered?

Shouldn't I hear the furnace running? I listened harder.

There was nothing.

Finally I reached over and hit the radio button. I was not deaf the crackle of AM radio filled the void with news of a car bombing in Israel, the building of a toll road and the temperature which is below freezing. Which explains the silence of the country.

No one feels like making a lot of noise in frost covered fields. It is just the opposite from the fertile summer when the fields are alive with activity. Now everything like the falling leaves is going into remission. Their mission is temporarily on hold.

I fell back asleep in a few minutes, comforted by the noise of the radio. It spoke of someone else there in the silence.

What would it be like to wake one morning and find that you were all alone?

I saw five deer last night. Three of them were incredibly small. I followed them around the pasture for awhile, it reminded me of an African safari with the animals fleeing in front of the vehicle. At one point one of the deer unexpectedly turned around and ran (I should say flew) right toward the truck.

I'm not sure what the deer was doing but it got my adrenaline flowing. I jammed on the brakes; I was probably going all of five miles per hour. The deer leaping toward the truck veered to the right at the last moment leaping toward the forest where it stopped and turned around and looked at me.

Deer seem to be inquisitive animals. I've noticed that they study intrusions in a quizzical nature.

The deer here seem to fly when they take off. They jump over the fences that surround the pasture effortlessly.

The sun is now out and burning off the frost.

I drove up the hill this morning looking out the side window. The ice on the windshield of the truck was too thick for me to scrape off. So I let the side window down and drove carefully up the hill. I made it without hitting anything and the truck only stalled once.

It was then that the silence momentarily returned.


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