Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ya'll Come Back Now, Ya Hear?!

I'm house sitting for The Giver and I have to ask all you city dwellers a question:

"How on earth do you people sleep at night?"

I guess I've enjoyed the peacefulness of the country for too many years. The sounds of the burbs do not induce sleepy feelings in me. Needless to say, I'm tired. How do you do it?

All night long I heard the noise of the street and the neighborhood. The street lights illuminated the room and just knowing that there were people within mere feet of the front door made me a wee bit jumpy. At 6:30 this morning I was jerked awake by the sounds of the garbage man.

Town is loud.

In the country, at least out where I live, we don't hear our neighbors (unless there's a party goin' on). Those who traverse our gravel road cannot be heard from inside the house. Our long driveway protects us from the banging and clanging of the refuse collector.

On a summer night the music of crickets fills the air and you can lay on your back and watch the moon rise in all its glory. The occasional coyote will call to it's mate only to be answered back by the entire pack.

There is a silence in our farming communities that hearkens back to days gone by. Back to a time when family's worked the land together and played together too. I'll never forget long, cool evenings sitting on the porch with my babies and my in-laws waiting for the moon to make his appearance. An inky blackness embraces you as first one, then other stars fill the night sky.

I wonder, as economic pressures continue to put the squeeze on America, will we return to these simpler pleasures? Will we visit with our neighbors in the evening breeze and watch our children play hide and seek in the dusky evening light?

I hope so. Hard times remind us that we are all in the same boat; rowing or bailing, we've got to work together to get where we want to go. People helping people, knowing their neighbors, keeping their streets safe simply by being a part of it all. I'd like to see us return to those days. I think we thrived then. I think we showed that difficult times make a stronger America.

I suppose that makes me a patriot. So be it.

Ya'll stop by my house and let's roast some marshmallows out back. We'll bundle up and recall our childhoods and laugh at old jokes. Wall street will do what it will, but in my backyard, the greatness of American will shine bright: Her people.

God bless America


Barrie said...

Could you use a fan for background noise? Although i'd still like to visit you!

Patti said...

we city dwellers, or suburbanites, wish we lived where you do. sigh...

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I'm a city kid, but we still had some of the things you describe. The neighbors would sit on the front stoop to catch a summer breeze, while keeping a watchful eye on the kids. Mister Softie (ice cream) would make his nightly appearance, and everyone would try to decide what flavor they wanted.

Yeah, we have plenty of noise. How would you like to be in the flight pattern of a big airport? Everything rattled and all conversation stopped until the plane passed.

I now live on a main street in a small town. The fire horn is at the end of our block. It's not unusual for fire trucks and emergency vehicles to scream down the road in the middle of the night.

You learn to block out the noise. The brain ignores it after a time. When it's missing, you feel uncomfortable. The quiet of the country is unnerving to me. Yet, I know if I stayed long enough, I'd adapt. Wherever I go, I know God is with me.

Susan :)

TJ Brown said...

I love town noise. But you have to remember, I was raised in the country and as peaceful as the sounds of irrigation sprinklers are, I love knowing that people are all around me living their lives.

Kiva said...

As my dad used to say, "it takes all kinds to make a world." Good thing there are townies like me, and country folk like you that like to live where they are. My little part of the urban world is very much like you describe -- we know our neighbors even though their skin color and native language may not be the same. The kids wait for the ice cream truck just like we did. They play on their bikes, scooters and skateboards. The neighbors wave hello every time they see you and greet you like old friends when they see you in the grocery store. To me, it's not the place, but the people. God bless us all.