Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Two good ears

I like listening.

OK, to be honest, I don't always like listening to people, but I do enjoy listening in general. When I go to bed at night, I lay there and listen to the sounds of the house and the sounds of the outside world. When it's warm, my wife likes to leave every fan in the house on, which drowns out much of the available listening.

Now, my nighttime listening is less out of enjoyment than fear of something breaking in, or one of the cats getting into something during the night. It's more of a need, really, because I need to be sure my home and family stay safe during the night, and how will I do that if I can't hear something happening? So the white noise effect of the fans is really not appreciated.

It's now cold enough that the fans have been turned off, so I finally get my nighttime listening back. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed just listening to the sounds of the night, not just the part where I know if some one's breaking in. Last night I listened to the wind swirling up our street. Even when I could not hear that, the song of our wind chimes gave the wind away. I can hear the cars traveling our street. I can hear the dogs barking, the cats fighting, and sometimes our neighbors fighting, as well. From my bed I can hear the fish tank gurgling. Sometimes I can hear one of my children snoring (although usually only when the child in question is sick), or my daughter's sleeping "hu - hu - sigh".

One of my favorite things to listen to is the rain. I love the way it sounds. I love the way world sounds when it's all wet. When I'm lying in bed, I can tell that it's rained outside, even when I didn't hear the raindrops, by the way the cars sound as they go by. I love the way umbrellas sound when they go up and then, later, when you put them down and shake the water out.

Last night on the drive home I turned off the radio to listen to the rain. I listened to the rain hitting the windshield, to the squeaking sound the windshield wipers make, to the wet sounds the cars made as they passed by.

I definitely enjoy sitting in my office, with it's wall sized windows, and listening to the rain pitter-pat on the windows. It's not always loud enough to be heard from my desk, and the nature of our building means that, often, only certain windows are getting good and rained on. Sometimes those windows are not the ones nearest my desk.

I've thought about finding a good rain cd and bringing that to work to listen to. But that might interfere with my eavesdropping.

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