I wrote this over a month ago but it was saved to drafts instead of publishing. In that time its gone from cold and rainy to hot and dry and back again. Still the sounds are pretty similar, adding in the occasional evening of noisy restaurant patrons eating on the patio next door.
I would suggest playing this while reading the post to get the full effect. Taken from my balcony after the rain.
I’ve been listening to my surroundings a lot more than usual this spring. For the 5+ years that I worked as a zine and comic librarian I listened to music pretty much constantly since I was often alone and the entire floor was usually silent. When I was home I always had the tv or music going, which helped me relax when studying or even reading, to drown out the sound of neighbors, or just to enjoy (since I am media studies student/writer I’m always taking in new media). In this new home, away from work or school and not directly surrounded by people on all sides (including above as I was before) it’s nice to sit back and listen. Relax. When I was in my old garden I would often listen to music, usually riot grrrl or other 90s stuff to get me going and keep a fast pace. This new space is quiet and tranquil so I found myself taking out my ear buds more often. I love to catch a moment of the woodpecker that comes by maybe once a week. The squirrels chirp, the sparrows surround the house, it’s nice. I think it’s important to be totally present in your surroundings, at least on occasion. It can be easy to find the meditation in gardening, not just the work, if you allow yourself to. Unplugging and experiencing what’s around you with all senses is a forgotten pleasure. Part of the reason we do this is to get outside, away from the constant noise and interconnectivity of modern living, to experiencing nature. Though I can easily ignore the occasional car that passes nearby I am still in a fairly large city (Milwaukee, WI in the Riverwest neighborhood) and my trips to the yard offer a little sanctuary from the hustle. To never stop and listen to the birds or the wind in the leaves would really be a shame.