Is there ever true silence? We are bombarded by noise all day every day – noise pollution – and it affects our daily lives in profound ways.  If it isn’t the traffic, it’s planes, trains, power tools, people on cell phones, radio, TV, the list is almost endless.

When I was younger, noise didn’t bother me. I could do my homework or read a book in front of the TV or with the radio on and be totally oblivious to the noise around me. Now, I am so much more easily distracted by the least little noise; dogs barking, cars going by, my neighbor’s lawnmower. I cherish early Sunday mornings when there is no traffic noise for minutes at a time and the only sounds are the birds greeting the sunrise.

I sleep with a humidifier on, which also helps block the outside noises. If I’m home during the day, I have the radio on or my iPod is playing, which helps cut down on outside noise. But it’s almost impossible to have total quiet in town. I work at an animal shelter, so there are dogs barking and yapping all day long. Our home is close to the flight path for both the airport and the Air Force base – there is nowhere in town that is immune to noise from planes.

Now that summer is over, finally, I look forward to spending more time out in the desert where the quiet can heal and calm.

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