One by air and four by ground, my descendants departed yesterday, and with them the voices, high and low, that had echoed in my mind for a week and a half: “Can we go outside? Is there any more butter? Can we bring the frog inside? Do you want more coffee? Can we go out in the rain?”
Then it was “Good-bye, see you soon, thanks for everything!”
And then, silence.
“Here we are, alone again,” my husband said.
But not exactly. In the quiet, I heard another chorus, one that had been muted in the preceding happy days. It was the animals. This chorus was not loud; it had nothing to do with barks or baas or clucks; but it came through loud and clear once the human sounds were gone.
“Notice how I place my head next to your foot,” Wolfie said. “See how we cluster around you, hoping for some petting” said the goats. The chickens, out in the field in their portable summer home, said “We haven\’t seen you much lately. Who are you?” And old Lexi said, “Notice how relaxed I am, now that I\’m no longer worried about being stepped on.”
There is nothing like a house full of voices—little voices, and formerly-little voices that now speak with authority and wisdom.
Then the silence descends again. But if I listen, the quiet voices of my animals come through and fill my heart.
We all comfort ourselves as best we can.