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  • Anna Schreibert

Silence is white.

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

A few weeks ago, in New Jersey, where I live, a snowstorm passed through.

Just a few days earlier, the media had been buzzing about the dangers of the snow blizzard. There were constant warnings, people were clearing the shelves in stores as if they were stocking up for war. Within minutes, water, bread, toilet paper, and chips became products of the greatest demand. For those who are not deeply familiar with American culture, chips are a tradition.

I have lived here for many years, yet it always amazes to see a shopping cart filled with Coca-Cola and chips. Especially in unusual situations, when a tornado or snowstorm comes through. That is when I look around, feel guilty and start to reevaluate my choices because everyone around has carts filled with "junk food" and I seem to be the only one who decided to cook something. Chips are definitely at the top of the list of essentials in the face of imminent disaster.

On that day, my kids already knew they were not going to school the next day, so they sat glued to their computers, overcoming more obstacles in Call of Duty, or building another house in Minecraft. For them, virtual reality is absolutely intertwined with the surrounding reality.

The snow was expected to start falling at two in the afternoon. The precision of the American weather forecast is indeed impressive, so a few minutes after 2 pm it began to snow.

Since most of us in today's reality have been working from home for the past few months, I was not really concerned about the warning. I knew my fridge was well-stocked, and the rest out of my hands, so I should not bother.

It was snowing and snowing... The world was becoming more and more white, as if cleaner, immaculate. I was sitting at my computer, looking out the window, and it seemed as if everything stopped.

I like those moments when nature forces us to slow down. Whether we like it or not, we must submit to its rhythm. We are not able to face the eternal laws of nature. These moments make us reflect, to realize our place in the modes of this huge machine. A moment of truth...

I worked late as usual, , read a book at bedtime, had a glass of wine to relax my head, and fell asleep. I woke up just after 3 am. I was lying in bed, wondering what was different. I listened to what was going on outside the window. And that was the thing - utter silence. Quieter than the silence of any night - no cars driving, no one coming home from the bar, no birds tweeting, no owls hooting. I was lying and thinking how I loved that silence. For the first time in a long time I could hear my thoughts whispering from the depths.

I got up, pulled up the blinds, looked at the snowflakes dancing in the light of the street lantern, and thought dreamily, "Silence is white!"

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