A Man and His Thoughts

The random thoughts of a common man

The Sound of Silence and the Light in the Darkness

The Sound of Silence
The other night I was struck by just how quiet it seemed outside. Knowing that in the city or the suburbs it is never quiet I closed my eyes, filled my lungs with a deep pull of crisp fall air, expelled the breath and quieted my mind so I could listen closely. With the distractions filtered out I opened myself to the cacophony of suburban sounds all around me.There were crickets and cicadas singing their persistent songs, desperately fighting off the end of summer, there were dogs calling each other from across the neighborhood, kids shouting to each other to slow down, the slamming of car doors, the occasional siren that cleaves through the night and of course the drone of car engines that thrums like a current just below all of the others. It is truly amazing how over time one becomes so accustomed to the sounds that, unless you stop and make an effort to listen, you don’t even notice. It is a stark contrast to the night sounds of my childhood home in rural northern Michigan, where you can sit for hours at night and barely hear any man made sounds. It is easy to lose yourself in thought while surrounded by that sweet silence.

The Light in the Darkness
Not only is it never completely silent near the city, it is never completely dark either. When we camp in the backyard my daughters are afraid to walk from the tent to the house at night without a lantern. This amuses me because the yard is lit up by street lamps and security lights on nearby buildings. They don’t appreciate or understand what it is like to be completely enveloped by the dark shroud of night, unable to see for more than a few inches or feet in any direction or having the pale moon provide the only light. To have your hearing heighten in response to the loss of vision, noticing every little twig snap, dry leaf crunch or the whistle of the wind through the trees. It can be terrifying and thrilling all at the same time, your body with flooding with adrenaline and your nerves on a razor’s edge. These are the times that a person feels alive. I love the convenience and opportunities that come with living near or in the city but I do miss the silence and the darkness.

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This entry was posted on September 24, 2013 by in Observations.
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