All night, as my wife and I sleep, a humidifier beside the bed quietly creates what is called white noise, and all night and all day every day the dependable universe produces a steady stream of what I might call “white work”. It’s work that wants to stay secret and silent, softly behind the scenes, work that discreetly does what must be done to keep things always spinning and expanding and advancing. It’s the work my body, for instance, calmly carries out moment by moment – the balanced moving of blood, the perfect falling and lifting of the lungs, the constant re-creation of cells. It’s also the silent work the surrounding air always does, sending me breezes and brand-new oxygen and always a feeling of freshness. And then there’s the endless “white work” of the wide world I live in – the rolling along of rivers, the constant progress of winds that work their way without ceasing across thousands of miles, and of course the noiseless, steadfast spinning of the stars. It’s reassuring to me to stay aware of this “white work” – to realize, while I’m working my way through the minutes of a day, that so much silent, beneficial work is always being done inside and around me, that so much steady and gentle effort is being quietly made to make my life this marvelous thing that it is.