Saturday, November 30, 2013

Deepest Night

I awaken. It's still dark and I reach for the phone to check the time. 1:32 a.m. I sigh, and flounce just a little bit in bed (but not enough to disturb my husband) to express my displeasure at waking yet again early in the morning. The air from the open window is fresh, cold. I lie still, willing sleep to come. It does not.

In the crystalline silence, I listen. I hear my husband breathe next to me, and the hum of the heating system. I cast my senses wider, and listening deeper, hear a train whistle, far in the distance. I might even hear the train's wheels, singing on the rails. I listen closer, and hear the tinkle of the neighboring dog's tags as it crisscrosses the lawn, intent on its nocturnal errand, its paws padding on grass crisp with frost.

In the summer, after the insects have ceased their cacophonous symphony, I hear the call and response of the owls. In the early morning, perhaps before and mostly likely after the rooster crows, the throaty purr of the watermen's boats insinuates itself into my consciousness, as they head out to check the crab pots.

There is so much to hear at night, if only we take the time to listen deeply, beyond the noise of the traffic and the hum and whine of heating systems. The creak and pops of the house suggest age, as do the creaks and pops of our joints as we move, seeking to ease the stresses of the day. The chirrup of a bird, when no bird should be stirring; is the bird dreaming or has it been startled from its rest by a predator?

And there's so much more to hear during the day, if we can slip underneath the surface noise. There are stories there, common yet uncommon. The untold story of a baby's cry, the joyous laughter of the toddler playing, the tense verbal exchange of the neighbors across the street.

All contribute to the rich tapestry of our lives.

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