We’re at the point in the year where we can sleep with the windows open without fear of waking up the next morning feeling as if we’ve frozen solid; indeed, without warning, we ended up at the point where not having windows open makes the air feel thicker and, just maybe, it’s time to think about sleeping on top of the sheets, too. (It is the end of June, of course; okay, maybe there was some warning.)
The reason I mention this isn’t to update on how I’m sleeping or my temperature regulation activities; it’s because, as the weather improves and the windows open, I’m rediscovering the joys of listening to the morning anew.
I’ve previously written about how quiet the house is first thing in the morning, but the rest of the world doesn’t follow suit, wonderfully. There is bird song, as countless different birds chirp and warble to each other in high-pitched Morse Code that seems as pretty but unintelligible to me as it does incessant; lists to it, the invention of music feels inevitable — it wasn’t even as if humans had anything to invent, given how melodic, repetitive and rhythmic the birds have been singing all along. We just ripped them off and gave it a different name.
But it’s not just nature out there. There’s the sound of cars in the distance, that slowly increasing, then decreasing hum of the engines and the crunch of the road underneath the tires. I lie there, listening and unintentionally trying to work out where each car is, relative to me. That one’s on Belmont, but this new one has to be on Cesar Chavez…? and so on. I don’t really mean to do it, it doesn’t matter, but I can’t stop myself, nonetheless.
And then there are the occasional footsteps, even in these quarantine times — although, of course, the quarantine is losing its strength as time goes on. I listen to people walk past, jog past every now and then, hear snatches of music or conversation as they do. It’s a gentle reminder that this isn’t a bubble or a life raft, but that I’m part of something larger, a world out there, filled with life, ready for me to wake fully and join in.