I’m greatly impressed, lately, by the power of silence. And not just the kind you think I mean, where the noise finally subsides and we can hear the ringing in our ears and take a deep breath before it all starts up again. No, I mean the kind of silence that is intentionally made and kept as a conscious choice. My older son, Ezra, likes to ask for silence in the car on the way home from daycare. And tonight, as I lay next to him at bedtime and asked if he wanted a song, he said, “Not yet, Mama.” And he lay quietly for a good long while. I used to listen, in the silence, for the things I wasn’t hearing: the music, the conversations, the stories. I used to plan for what would come next or imagine what might have been. But lately I’m just trying to do what he does: to hear the world as it is and his own presence in it, without comment or contribution. Just listening to all that comes in on the breath and noticing all that goes out with it. The world is a full place indeed, and those places of quiet are one of my son’s many gifts.