Every once in a while on my drive I would pull into a rest stop, deserted except for scores of tractor trailers, lights on, motors droning, not a person in sight. The inside of each stop was deserted except for a skeleton crew manning the MacDonald’s counter. Only in one did I see someone waiting for an order. I guess a Big Mac works no matter the time of day. No noise. No talking. Even had the men’s room all to myself – a novelty. While the rest of us sleep thousands of trucks speed along our highways day and night satisfying our insatiable need for stuff.
Thoreau tells us that he had never met a companion as companionable as solitude. I did not take determinism’s full measure that night. Nor did I shake my anxiety over having to change my five-month-old grandson’s diaper. But I did spend some quality time with silence.