The ten best sounds.
March 17, 2012 § 17 Comments
This list is subjective, and clearly mine, some of the “best sounds” tied to specific moments and memories, but if you grew up in America and have been around a while some of these sounds may make your list too.
The slap of a screen door. This vanishing sound of summer comes from behind, and I, the kid who pushed the door open am barefoot and escaping into another endless unmetered summer day.
The tap-tap of a shoe beating time: I listen for the first note, a stupid grin on my face, and lean toward the moment when I get to sing.
The chat of birds waking just before the sun rises. The window by our bed is always open so we wake in the dark and listen. Some trill. Some creak. Some complain. In response one of us will get up and make coffee. And another day begins.
The thrum of a rocking chair. Maybe I am the new mother who holds my sleeping baby, heavy and warm in my arms. Maybe I am the child sitting in Grandpa’ rocker in the dark of my grandparent’s living room. Behind the chair, standing in the corner is the guitar my grandfather plays. I make my own quiet music, the chair’s rockers purring against the wooden floor.
The muffled bark of my sleeping dog Moo (Broder, Bonzo, Gigi, Lena…), claws skriching the floor as it dreams of something quick and just out of sight among the weeds.
The creak of mooring lines. As I sleep aboard an old wooden cruiser-become-home, the vessel tugs at its lines all night rocking me with the rhythm of waves and wind. Nearby, on Snake Creek, a tarpon free-jumps with an explosive slap.
The ping of the first kernel of popcorn hitting the pot lid, then the building crescendo and cacophony as a hundred kernels turn themselves inside out, then the diminuendo as the final few burst…the last quiet ping. My family is going to the Drive-in, but the Fogelins never pay for drive-in popcorn. We bring our own in a brown paper bag.
The heart-in-my throat swell of the Hallelujah Chorus sung in the Princeton University Chapel. All who have ever sung Handel’s Messiah are welcome to join in this anthem of resounding praise, to add a single voice that the tide of music that will flood the building and indeed the whole world. Although I am a second soprano, caught up in the ecstasy of the music I throw myself into the first soprano line, sure I can fly if I jump off that cliff. And he shall reign forever and ever.
The splash of a small child in the tub, palms slapping water, followed by the belly down squeak as they slide on the tub’s slick bottom, the water having whirled away down the drain. The daughter in the tub has become a grandson, my sleeves are wet, and stretchy pjs hang on the towel rack.
The sound of now. A silence in the house is burred by the low note of my computer thinking its 01010101 thoughts. Moo is breathing quietly on the recycled sofa cushion that is her bed. It is so early the birds are not yet awake. So quiet now I can almost hear my own heartbeat.
Note: You might like this earlier post about the ten best smell list.