Time out for a tea moment to contemplate the mysteries of life. In this case, it’s the too quiet house.
Houses know quiet and noise. They can be filled with either and both, with one room being the hub of human activity (music playing, TVs blaring, children laughing and shouting, etc.) and another being a sanctuary of calm. There are times when the house settles in the quiet that falls when all within are asleep. It is a quiet that has a warmth to it, a comfort that comes from the sharing of space and the meeting of some basic human needs for shelter and rest.
But there is another kind of quiet that can fill a house — a quiet that comes from solitude, when every clock ticking, every creak of the structure adjusting to temperatures cooling or heating, and every weird noise the refrigerator makes gets amplified into a sign of danger or just plain spookiness. There is only one solution for such quietude: a bit of noise.
And what better way to make some noise to fill that too quiet house than the clatter of tea kettles, teapot lids, and teacups and saucers? None I can think of, except the sound of mixing bowls, cookie sheets, oven doors opening, timers dinging to indicate that your scones or pies or cookies are done. After all, what is tea time without such scrumptiosities?
Add to these noises the ones you make when all is ready and the enjoyment ensues. There’s slurping and munching. There’s lip smacking and gulping. There’s the sound you make when you go after that last golden drop of tea in the cup and the sound as you lick the clotted cream or cupcake icing from your fingers. Best of all, there is the noise that is not quite a noise. It comes from deep within you and rides on the air you exhale. It rises with a solemnity and sated contentment that comes from every fiber of your being. It is a long, drawn out “Aaaaaah!”
Next time your house seems too quiet, get out the mixing bowls and cookie sheets, pre-heat the oven, get the kettle going to heat water for tea, and set the table with plates and teacups and saucers. Then, get ready to make some noise!
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