Today we are enjoying the hospitality of Oldwood – Ted and Andrea’s post-and-beam house in northern Georgia. It sits high upon a hill, surrounded by more hills, overlooking the flooded river system of Lake Rabun.

The house occasionally creaks, cracks and groans with the wind and with every change in temperature, as if all that wood still remembers that it was once alive. It’s like being embraced by Ents, the wise and ponderous tree-creatures of “Lord of the Rings.”

We took a walk around the looping gravel road in the wan sunshine of a chilly early spring afternoon. It was dead silent except for the wind blowing through the trees, the crunch the gravel underfoot, and our own voices. Inside, I’ve been working on photographs, piecing hexies and figuring out how to blog. Barry has spent time with the jigsaw laid out in the corner and reading articles on his laptop. Time seems to pass at a different rate of speed in the silence. We feel entirely blessed.

It occurred to me that this unusual experience with silence was the everyday norm for almost everyone on the planet up to about a hundred years ago. Just for today, at least, there is no urgent TV commercial, fast-paced news announcer or some sort of mechanical growling in the distance. We are of all people most blessed.