The house is empty but for one sleeping son and the dog at my feet.

At 6 a.m. the floors were thumping with big footed searching and loading. Skis, snowboards, helmets, gloves, backpacks all made their way out to the truck in several quick loads. Husband, sons, and friends packed into the truck and headed off into the dark morning, bound for Loveland.

Silence. It's been a long time since the house had no sound. The drum set, keyboard, and pick-ups in the living room sit poised for noise, like a toddler waiting bedside for sleeping parents to wake. The TV is blank. The aquarium is gurgling. My heart is beating.

There is something blessed about quiet when it comes between loud sounds. Too much of either makes one or the other hard to appreciate. But the sudden appearance of one next to the other makes the contrast ... well... graciously clear. Opposites define each other.

This morning I am appreciating the audio contrast like the difference between inhaling and exhaling. Quiet and loud must trade and coexist. It's a healthy pattern where people live together.

So, I am going to make some coffee and stare at the mountain. And I will be grateful for the vibrant pulse of the large bodies that have been creating much sound in this house -- the music, the talk, the laughter ...
and the quiet that comes between.

Somewhere in the clamor of the season, may you find your own quiet, as well.