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.