Grow Write Guild No. 5 - Listen


I had to do this prompt at night.  My days are filled with a glorious clamour; the baby shrieking - usually an outpouring of joy, occasionally an expression of grief or want.  There are things to do - endless dishes and laundry.  Bandit the Ancient always has a tale of woe to tell of some perceived injustice (usually food related).

At night the day to day bustle comes to rest and - if I choose to - so can I.  So often I use that time to catch up on the ever growing list of personal projects I hope to someday come to the end of, but tonight I am grateful for the prompt to sit. 

To be still and listen.

The crickets are the predominant thing.  A backdrop in the blackness - well, blueness.  We are in the height of summer, only one day past Solstice so the sun has just barely 'gone down in the west behind the hills into shadow'.

But this is meant to be about sounds.

The train rumbles.  I am almost surprised I notice it.  It seems nearly every place I have lived in has been near a train.  Cars drive by on the streets and highways below.  In this valley even slight murmurs are amplified.  I can hear dogs barking that are likely miles away.

The train is fading further away, but the low whine and steady rhythm are still rumbling.

In this intersection of the urban and rural it is quiet, but there are still electronic and mechanical hums from lights, generators, and laundry machines in people's homes.  An unidentifiable low whine is coming from the neighbours' place still under construction.

The sounds of the day have faded.  The many chattering songbirds, quorking ravens, screeching hawks, rasping magpies, and screaming eagles must be sleeping.  Once in a while there is a small squeak of a vole or mouse, or a rustle from some invisible night creature.  Something mechanical switches off at the neighbours house, but I can still hear the hum of the dishwasher escaping from my own windows.  A lone barking dog isn't planning on sleeping yet.  My cat pads almost silently through the long grass.  Moths flutter a dull thud as they bump into the overhead lights.

Even at night the world is living and active.