Last night it was so cold, even sound couldn't travel.
Or so it seemed. At minus twenty-two degrees Fahrenheit, every living thing tucks into whatever shelter they can find as soon as the sun goes down. And thank the Lord for small favors, there wasn't so much as a breath of wind. Combined, it added up to utter silence.
It's a weird thing, complete silence. Something most people will never experience. Silence is not the same as quiet. In a quiet house, there is still the hum of the refrigerator, the hiss of the furnace. On a quiet summer evening, the owls, coyotes and cows keep up a near constant chatter. But on a cold, still winter night fifty miles from the nearest town, when the animals are hunkered down conserving every bit of energy, there is no ambient noise. No traffic. No airplanes overhead. No barking dog down the street. Nothing.
Silence makes your ears ring. As if they can't fathom or tolerate the lack of stimulus, so they create their own. Standing on top of the ridge on a clear, moonless night, with the Milky Way so bright and close it feels as if the atmosphere has dissolved, you could almost believe the stars are singing.