Momentarily Perfect

There was an ethereal quality about the mid-winter air of late February that night. The rubber enclosing my feet took turns hammering the asphalt of the deserted streets of Manchester, echoing for what seemed to be miles, during a run inspired by a warming trend in the weather.

This silence — the perfect stillness I experienced at this time — is rare. The sound of approaching wheels, blaring music, or abrupt car alarms are the usual suspects that disturb the type of silence I’m describing.

This moment may as well have been ripped straight out of the iconic Twilight Zone episode titled, “Time Enough at Last.” In this particular episode, a librarian which a passion for reading accidentally gets locked while reading inside of a bank vault while an atom bomb goes off just outside. When he emerges, there is no sign of life — everything is eerily quiet.

Even on a Friday night in Manchester, there are places that can get so hushed, you can hear a pin drop at times. The key words here are “at times.” Although the atmosphere I was running in was utterly silent for a brief shining moment in time, Manchester is still a city — New Hampshire’s biggest.

It was not long before the sound of laughter infused with the sputtering of a truck engine broke the silence as it passed me from behind before the night returned to its splendid unsung chorus.

I suddenly stop, my body fishtailing in resistance to the abrupt change in speed, and I appreciate that I got the chance to experience such conditions. In the darkness of the night that swaddled me in a blanket of shadows, broke only by glimmers of moonlight, I walked the rest of the way home.

Although I’m certain the circumstances surrounding this experience are replicable, it felt as though it was a point in time that could only happen in New Hampshire. Am I alone in thinking this? Feel free to share a similar experience in the comments, because this moment is mine!

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