All is quiet on the Western front.
No barking. No floor shaking from dogs running to see who is at the door. No dogs begging for rubs or grub or dubs. No scratching at the door to be let in or outside. Today is what retirement would look like without three dogs in my life.
If the dogs were here — rather than at the groomers — I could think. I need noise to think. Living with four children trained me to think with noise.
Noise always meant all was well. Only when life grew quiet was it time to worry, time to go investigate to see what trouble was brewing with the kids. Murals on the wall? Shaving faces or legs? Talking on the phone after hours? Too much quiet is a scary thing.
Daddy’s life would be too quiet except for the saving sounds of his television set. When Dad’s roommate’s television is on at the same time as Daddy’s, I wonder how they stand each others noise. Do their competing sounds drive one another crazy?
Yesterday, Daddy hit the wrong button on his remote, which turned the sound up from “normal” loud to blaring. Daddy’s roommate Larry responded in kind. Sitting between the dueling television remotes, I wondered what the neighbors were thinking — if they could hear themselves think.
Vibrating walls and sounds don’t bother Daddy or Larry; I get the feeling that making noise is all in a day’s work. Usually, the television noise lulls one or both to sleep. Perhaps the vibrations stemming from Daddy’s walls lull the neighbors to sleep as well.
A noisy world is a good thing. A little noise helps one appreciate the quiet. What I would give for a few good barks.
I don’t like a lot of noise; but when we lived in Nottingham, we were on the flight path for a major airport and the noise made sleep hard on a summer night, and I coped.
Now we have a quiet home and I can think…
But some noises are good; birdsong, for example!
Somehow I can tune the noise in and out — depending upon what I’m doing. When I was in the midst of graduate studies, with my nose in a textbook, it would take a touch on my arm to bring me back to life — a simple word would not do.
How many bird symphonies have I missed in my life? I don’t even want to know…
But I’m glad you are planted away from those big metal birds to your new spot filled with little sweet chirps. I have a feeling your new home is a little safer… without sound….
I too can tune noise out but only for so long; my nerves are shredded raw after a time, but I often only know it because I feel moody and irritable.
Yes, I don’t miss the planes; our village was the crash site of a famous air disaster that always preyed on my mind. Because we are only ever connected by six degrees or less, a close friend of mine had a friend who died on that disastrous flight.
One of the things in another life(like 20 years ago) I used to do with kids visiting the nature reserve I worked as an education officer at, was to get them to be very still and quiet and count how many different natural sounds they could hear; it started with giggles and whispers but as the silence deepened, the symphonies began. And if you have never listened to the heart of a tree in springtime by placing your ear to the trunk, there is a joy awaiting you this spring; pick a birch or another thin barked tree and be prepared to have your world rocked!
I am enchanted by both of your nature exercises –naming the sounds and listening to the heartbeat of a tree. The enchanted forest is not just a fairy tale after all.