I often sleep with my windows open. I really look forward to spring, when I can cut off the heat, or to fall, when I can cut off the A/C. Then I throw open the windows and let the night noises enter my sub-conscious.
My home is in a sweet neighborhood not too far from downtown. It is a quiet neighborhood, with small and very large homes, near a major hospital, a railroad track, and business highway. In the winter, when the leaves are gone, I can see the sun set over the city skyline. Across the street from me is a beautiful tree-lined, but open meadow, which is an historic cemetery, with no markers. Were it not for the sign, no one would know its true purpose.
Here at the farm, my sister’s home is on a corner of a through road and a county road. It is atop a rolling hill on thirty-five acres. She has surrounded the home area by tall pines that she planted. Out from the yard is a corn/bean field, depending on the year, and the house faces the shallow grass lake beyond. Like my bedroom at home, my room here is in the southeast corner with two windows.
This is what I hear at night at home: the thap-thap-thap of helicopters delivering really sick or terribly injured people to the hospital on occasion, a soft hum of traffic if I am really aware, crickets, an occasional cat yeow, or maybe a dog barking distantly, city birds in the dim early morning, the train whistle at 5 AM.
This is what I hear at night on the farm: peeper frogs, acacias, crickets, the loud nasal ANGK-ANGK-ANGK of the sand hill cranes if something is threatening their nest, maybe honking of geese, song birds at dawn, an occasional motorcycle or a souped-up truck roaring past.
City noises and country noises. Some are similar. Some very different. Each comforting and familiar.