SOUND: THE RHYTHM OF TIME

I’d just sat at my desk and was going through a mental list of what I need to do to get started on writing when I was distracted by the sound of a bus.  After taking a moment to consider that between the air brakes and the fact it isn’t an electric bus it’s one of the more obnoxious sounds in an otherwise quiet morning I became aware the morning isn’t so quiet.

The first sound I tuned into was that of birds.

The same ones that generally wake me up in the morning.

Shortly after I heard the furnace kick on.

Took a moment to think how much noisier electric furnaces are than gas.

Once the furnace turned off I became aware of the sound of cars going by and further considered how much sound sets the rhythm of time.

Birds

Thanks to moving around the country over the years, I’ve learned birds keep different schedules.

More than just the time of year.

While living in a forested environment I learned that some birds are quiet in the morning but set up quite the racket in the evening.  Interestingly, it was something I never got used to.

Location change has afforded me a unique perspective.

Living in areas where the birds do not migrate south means year-long bird song.

Living in a part of the country out of the migratory path of Canadian Geese is perhaps the nicest perk when it comes to aviary sound.

Depending where you are, spring in Michigan can be ungodly loud beginning at 4am thanks to these flying friends.

Buses

There are two types of buses that pollute my morning quiet

  • School
  • Commuter

Word on the street is the fleet will eventually go electric which will make for a stark difference in the morning.

Especially the commuter bus which starts hours before school.

The school bus evokes a different reaction.

Memory.

Air brakes followed by the sound of doors opening reminds me of bitter cold mornings waiting at the bus stop.

In Michigan.

Wanting to get every last second of sleep I’d wait til the very last minute to get out of bed.  As a result my hair was often still wet as I waited.

In the winter it would freeze.  

I well remember sitting in 1st period, rivulets of water sliding down the back of my sweater as my hair thawed out.

The previous residence had a twist on the school bus adventure.  The trick was to time my trips to the coffee shop so I wouldn’t get stuck behind a school bus that stopped every few dozen yards to pick up another group of kids.

Which is why I was often one of the first customers in the door once they opened.

Covid gave me a taste of what it will be like when the buses – what my Civics teacher used to call yellow carbon monoxide bombs – go electric.

With total lockdown there was one heck of a big silence!

This is one sound I won’t miss.

Furnace

The primary time element associated with the furnace is season though there is also a time-of-day piece.

Thanks to the fact it’s one of the noisiest furnaces I’ve ever had and the fact it’s coldest between 4 and 6 am these days I’m generally up before the sun rises.

When it goes below 35 it is continuously kicking on.  Bye-bye sleep.

At least this one only lasts half the year.

Cars

In general, cars are not a major problem.

In spite of living near a relatively busy road.

Having grown up living on Fenkel (5 Mile) in Detroit and then later on Opdyke in Bloomfield, I know how obnoxious it can be to have cars, trucks, and motorcycles going by at all hours of the day and night.

Not to mention when you hear the truck testing at GM Truck and Coach!

Fortunately, and thanks to the proliferation of electric cars in the West, there isn’t as much noise as their might otherwise be.

Not to mention the thoroughfare isn’t as busy as the Michigan roads were.

Our governor has signed a bill phasing out the sale of non-electric vehicles by 2030

In practice, it will operate as the most ambitious gas vehicle phase-out in the nation, mirroring its 2021 version in ending the sale of gas-powered cars by the end of the decade. The next closest state at the moment is California, which has a phase-out goal set for 2035.

Again, Covid gave a glimpse of what the world will sound like at some point in the future.

Now if only they could do something about planes.

There’s a cargo plane that goes over the house on its way to SeaTac.

Bright and early.

Between the birds, the buses, and the planes, mornings come early indeed.

Thank god for espresso!

Messenger of the Gods, a Dragon Core story will be available Summer 2022.

Stay tuned.

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