Silence is Golden 🙂
I don’t know who said that, but after the taxi dropped me home at 9.30am this morning, (after an overnight stay away), I couldn’t help but be struck by the silence.
It’s Saturday here in Melbourne and the usual weekend shoppers, zooming up my short steep road in their cars, were completely absent.
No walkers, joggers, cyclists or runners.
No mothers pushing prams or pushers up the steep footpath.
The unique sound of what I thought might be Currawongs filled the background. (I have yet to share a photo of an Australian Currawong – I have a couple, but they’re not very good).
The wind had dropped and the forecast showers were absent. It was sooooooo quiet, almost like the end of the earth, and I couldn’t help but be overjoyed at the absence of human sound. If you’ve read my previous post you’ll know what I’m talking about.
I caught the lift upstairs to my apartment and after dropping my overnight bag on the floor, flung the sliding door open on to the balcony to let air into the stuffy room.
I heard tweets, chattering, birdsong and then a gentle whisper as a slight breeze sprung up.
The Fairy Wrens were back.
The birdsong was reminiscent of the lovely country sounds I first heard when I moved to the area in October, 2016.
Then one female Superb Fairy-wren dropped from the balcony fence down to the potted herbs and jumped from pot to pot and over to the bird/pest control netted hutch looking for seeds or some other tasty morsel. She walked over the fine netting and I frantically looked for the camera case as I’d put all the cameras away yesterday and stored them in a different place (other than under my desk or beside my desk chair).
Then I spotted a male Superb Fairy-Wren scrambling around the pots under the bird control netted hutch.
So much for bird control 😀
I went out to lift the netting so it could get away as it seemed to have forgotten its entry point, then grabbed the plastic watering jug to give some of the potted plants a drink. I hadn’t watered them before I left home late yesterday morning as it was supposed to rain this morning.
When I came back outdoors with the full watering pot, I heard frantic cheeping and a very frightened little wren.
It had jumped off the Marigold pot and got caught between the line of plastic pots and the glass fence. It could obviously see the male wren on the Japanese Maple enjoying the sunshine through the glass, but couldn’t work out how to get through this clear (aka dirty) glass fence barrier.
I think this might have been the first time I had seen a distressed Fairy-wren outdoors at my current home. I pulled all the plastic pots out so there was more room, but for some reason the tiny bird couldn’t work out what to do.
You hopeless little thing I thought to myself and very slowly bent down and tried to carefully catch it in my cupped hands. This frightened it all the more.
I stood right back and silently waited.
Nope, it just could not work out why it couldn’t ‘walk through glass’ 😀
Human intervention was obviously needed before the frantic little bird keeled over in exhaustion.
Finally, I managed to catch the distressed little wren and slowly bring it up to the fence rail and release it.
It quickly flew to the male on the Maple tree and then the couple flew off to the other side of the road where they could rest in the thick hedge in the warm Autumn sunshine.
I feel like I’m in Heaven with the absence of construction workers and machinery noise.
The gentle warmth of the sun was so pleasant after the long hot Summer, that I couldn’t help but think…..Thank God for Silence.
………..and the distant caw-caw of the local Ravens and the chatter of the nearby House Sparrows spread the beautiful sound of Autumn.
It’s only after incessant jarring noise (of the construction workers all week) that you truly appreciate the Silence in this unique apartment location.
I was back to my positive happy self and all was well with the world…..or at least my world.
……and so I asked Mr Google who had first said this phrase.
What’s the origin of the phrase ‘Silence is golden’?
As with many proverbs, the origin of this phrase is obscured by the mists of time. There are reports of versions of it dating back to Ancient Egypt. The first example of it in English is from the poet Thomas Carlyle, who translated the phrase from German in Sartor Resartus, 1831, in which a character expounds at length on the virtues of silence:
That fuller version – ‘speech is silver; silence is golden’, is still sometimes used, although the shorter form is now more common.