There is no such word, of course. The use of the verb quiet would require an object (“to quiet a crying baby”)… and yet I like it as a present participle. Quieting. The act of making my world smaller, cozier, neater, calmer.
I am an early riser. I usually get up around 5:30 or 6. What I particularly like about this time of day is that I can watch the sun rise. As I sit at my desk, looking out over the back yard, the sky starts to brighten, bringing the garden into focus. I can see that there is frost on the ground, and the chores that need to be done. As the sky brightens, I can see the foods that are ready to harvest, and I wait for the yellow finches to come and have their breakfast at the feeder outside my window.
This year we are experiencing an interesting pattern. On many mornings, the day will start clear and bright, and at about 7 the fog will come in. Talk about quiet! There are mornings when I can barely see the back fence for the fog. And just like that, there are no chores, no harvesting. The garden is completely quiet.
There is a magic to this time of year that, for me, goes beyond the holiday and gift giving and all that busyness. What is magical to me is the end of the year, putting away what is done, getting ready for the new. Raking leaves and sending them to the compost.
My world is still a hot mess — books strewn everywhere, the playhouse looks like a bomb went off, leaves yet to rake into piles before shredding them for the potatoes… but the idea that I am approaching my own personal time of quieting fills me with joy.