Sheinelle Jones returned to the “Today” show on Monday after a 6-week hiatus due to vocal cord surgery.
“It feels very weird. What did I miss?” Jones, who called in to the show from home, joked with her co-hosts Craig Melvin and Al Roker. “It’s good to see you guys.”
Jones, 41, couldn’t speak for the first two weeks after surgery. Her voice slowly returned at the end of March. In her time of silence and solitude, Jones learned various lessons.
“The gift of silence and being still,” she explained. “We’re all so busy, very rarely do we give ourselves permission to sit still, and in that I found clarity, I found peace.
“At first it was very difficult, I’m not gonna lie, ordering a chai tea on a memo board or trying to talk to the kids,” she continued. “But after I just embraced it, I kind of found a gift in that.”
And in her silence, Jones discovered “the power of listening.”
“Really, we can apply that to the situation that we’re in right now,” she said of life in quarantine. “You’re home with your kids this morning or you’re with your spouse probably more than you’re used to. I noticed that when you can’t speak, your ears perk up and you’re hearing things that you’ve never heard before.”
Jones announced her temporary departure from NBC’s morning show in February, saying the surgery was a “long time coming” after she discovered a polyp, a noncancerous growth that’s usually caused by overuse of the voice.