Hush

verb: make someone be quiet or stop talking.

noun: a silence.

Two times in my life hush me. One is when it snows a heavy snow and the world is muffled under it. Like Michigan, now. When you walk in snow boots, your feet don’t really touch the sidewalk. There is an inch of packed snow hiding the sound of your footsteps. Flakes fall silently into more flakes, and the trees branches look like they’ve been traced in white paint, and when you go outside to check the mail you feel as if winter is masquerading as a library.

Another is as I hold a baby in slumber. It isn’t I who lulls sweetie to sleep, but as we rock and stare at the glitter bubble nightlight glowing in the outlet, suddenly I feel the gears of my mind slow down to the rate of baby’s breath. She sleeps, deep. The flannel bundle is warm in my arms, and the rocking chair could go up or down, but right now we are still.

These times of snow, of slumber, summon hush. Not words. In these moments the worst thing in the world is not the silence. The silence is the rare visitor whose very presence makes us stop and… hush.

In these moments, the worst thing we could do would be to clutter that precious hush with words we don’t even need to say anyways.

be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

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