The first half of September was NOISY. The constant sound of jackhammering was in full force six days of the week while two neighbors had a large retaining wall removed and rebuilt. Our townhouse walls shook and I felt the reverberations throughout my body. It was like being in a stadium filled with Seattle Seahawks fans who jump and stomp so vigorously that seismologists say they cause minor earthquakes.
I tried to relax and rise above the commotion by repeating the mantra, “I feel calm and serene.” But my teeth remained clenched and my left eye kept twitching. It reminded me of an old Seinfeld TV episode where George Costanza’s father is advised to quietly say “serenity now” every time he feels tense in order to help control his high blood pressure. Instead, he becomes agitated and throws his hands to the sky yelling “SERENITY NOW”.
One Saturday, to escape the continual auditory assault, my husband and I went to lunch. Driving home, the car alarm went off. You know, the bee-bah, bee-bah, bee-bah, whoop, whoop, weeooo, weeooo, bloooop, bloooop. It stopped for a moment, then repeated. We couldn’t figure out how to disable it and continued driving. Need I mention the stares directed at us? After we arrived home and pulled wires from the battery, the noise thankfully stopped. Sweet peace and serenity.
As I write this blog, construction has ceased and I have the windows open for fresh air. However, my neighbor’s dachshunds are yapping, a bird is making a repetitive shrill call that sounds like a cross between a ringtone and a squeaky porch swing, and the cicadas are winding up. Yap, yap, squeak, squeak, ting-a-ling, buzzzzzz. On the bright side, the cacophony is drowning out noise from the freeway and Metrorail.
What a contrast to my summer vacation in Hawaii! Every day spent at the beach with only the sounds of waves crashing, kids laughing, and tropical birds softly warbling. Geckos skittered around tree trunks chasing each other. Occasionally, someone played a ukulele or sang.
We discovered a coffee plantation nestled in a hillside about a half hour’s drive from our condo. I felt
While in this tranquil place, I was unexpectedly besieged with ideas for new stories and characters. Now I’m on a quest to maintain daily inner peace no matter what is happening.
How do you find serenity in this crazy, noisy world?