What’s wrong with noisy people?
Nothing at all. Usually they’re having fun. And, sometimes in the midst of the uproar, there’s a little, unexpected oasis…
Toddler’s birthday party
The joys,OMG, the joys! Little people rush around, vibrant packages of energy and honest emotion. Love, anger, delight, jealousy … Day-Glo bright on every sleeve.
Then, of course, there are the parents and grandparents. Wine, beer and food, consumed with gusto (this is Scotland after all). Conversations disrupted by tears and needy wee folk. The babble rises and falls like surf on a beach.
There’s an advantage to being a driver for a family event in Scotland — no alcohol. Circulate, catch up, have a few world-to-rights conversations, laugh with some people … and then a quiet seat as life charges on.
There’s a row of four wooden chairs along a wall. I sit. A lively grandson drops by for a chat. He moves on. I relax and talk with someone across the room. Then, I notice a presence.
Peace in the midst
Two seats away a young man. We catch eyes. I raise an eyebrow. He shares a half, almost dreamy smile.
‘Enjoying some peace?’ I say and receive an almost uncertain nod. ‘Nothing wrong with being quiet inside and thinking stuff to yourself.’
He smiles, nods, doesn’t speak.
‘You we’re somewhere else?’
Big nod. ‘Yes.’
We smile at each other and sit, hushed, amidst a quietening riot. I reflect, lost within. When awareness returns, he’s gone … back to noisy.
When they go, he comes to me for a hug. His brother gave a wrestlers, competitive, shouglie squeeze. He gives me a firm embrace and looks into my eyes with deep, calm warmth. We connect. I rub his back and release him.
Then he’s gone, fading slowly into a warm memory. I know peace.