I am a student of silence. The empty mornings where I wake to myself, and the lonely evenings where I climb into bed as my partner hums beside me, deep in the sleep that comes to those whose fatigue is chronic.
I hear things. My whirring refrigerator, the cries of my neighbor’s child, the sound of my skin beneath the spout, but I am silent. I offer no words and in exchange I receive them all. I hear things. I hear everything.
I think of my mother, whose bones were made to last. Six times she brought new life in silence, her salt and her mercy the lodestar, the verb, the crux. I think of God who speaks mutely, whose voice came not through fire and ocean and wind but silence.
And everyone wants a miracle. And our prayers are soundless and spoken. And there is no burning bush and God is silent and I’ve still got my shoes off.