Simple Definition of hubbub
- a loud mixture of sound or voices
- a situation in which there is much noise, confusion, excitement, and activity
Origin of hubbub
- perhaps of Irish origin; akin to Scottish Gaelic ub ub, interjection of contempt
- First Known Use: 1555
Usually when the pace of life feels too fast I retreat, as much as I can, to quiet and solitude. I want less stimulation, and seek to soothe my jangled nerves. But there are times of great stress when I feel a need for people and bustle around me. Today is such a day.
I sit in a favorite bakery, eating delicious and comforting food. I’m too wound up to concentrate on my book, so instead I let myself drift and be distracted by the noises and sights surrounding me. Beautiful displays of pastries…the scratched and scuffed wooden table I sit at with four other people, all engrossed in their own pursuits…sounds – a man and woman at one end of the table talk with animation. From the rhythms and occasional bits of words I think they’re speaking in my own language, English, but it’s strangely hard to tell over the music. No matter. I enjoy the disjointed sounds today.
A man in a suit and tie sits diagonally across from me, reading a newspaper. He’s already finished his sandwich and may have something left in his can of Blood Orange San Pellegrino. I like that flavor, too. The fourth person at my table, a young man, has already left, after looking at his smartphone, while I was writing about the others. He had a to go bag, so I suppose he hadn’t planned to stay.
Today, at this moment, being here feels just right. The happy hubbub and beautiful things do their job – distracting, lifting me out of myself and my consuming self-directed thoughts, reminding me of the fascinating and unpredictable plenitude of life all around me.