When I was a kid, I couldn't wait for it. Trailer-thin walls, parents telling me what to do, annoying brother and sister hogging the phone or the shower. Someday, I'd have peace and quiet!
When I was a freshman at Illinois State, I didn't realize how many people were everywhere, the cafeteria lines, my tiny shared room -- although my dorm room wasn't tiny compared to the one my sister and I shared at home. The ubiquitous throngs of noisy humans.
I used to hide myself on the sixth floor of Milner Library, back when librarians would shush with relish, reading feminist literature for the sheer thrill of doing something daring (I was reared Church of God; it was the '70s) in peace and quiet.
After 25 years of mothering, I recently had the privilege of taking a sabbatical from work to practice writing. Now that I'm back to full-time work, when I sit down with a notepad or a computer to compose something, I still get that peaceful thrill.
What was your first real piece of peace? Do you give yourself opportunities to re-experience it? If not, how can you begin?
Researchers have known for quite some time that animals require down time, a lack of stimulation, relative quiet interspersed with activity, in order to maintain mental and physical health.
Are you getting enough quiet? Do you leave your phone on at night? Are you too available to technology, to worry, to others? Quiet time doesn't guarantee peace, but it doesn't hurt.
Most of us have some choice. Some people don't. They can't turn off domestic violence, explosions, gunfire. I often wonder how children cope in the Middle East, for example.
When I was a kid, I had no clue.