Thumbing through Kate Messner’s book, 59 Reasons to Write, I discovered her lesson titled, Soundtrack of a Place (p. 108). This lesson encourages the writer to write a paragraph (or two) of sounds from your place. (This place might just be in your memory)
My place is the patio. Rarely do I get to spend time in my place in the winter, but occasionally there are days when the sun’s rays and the wind’s breath allows me to spend a bit of time enjoying the patio.
It was on such a rare day that I was able to sit and collect the sounds that surround me. Sounds that I don’t hear, not because they are not present, but because they are part of the sound landscape that blends into the normal so they are no longer unique, requiring attention.
At first, gentle, quiet sounds meet my ears. Leafed bushes rustle in the breeze.
Birds twitter. In the distance, a crow’s caw, caw floats across the field to my yard, more gentle than harsh by the time it reaches me.
Listening more intently brings the hollow echo of a hammer. Each blow of the hammer constructing a skeleton, eventually becoming a house, a home. Sometimes I hear tap, tap, tap. Sometimes I hear thup, thup, thup. Sometimes birds chirp in response to the sounds of the hammer.
Engines invade my sanctuary. Airplanes drone above, fading as it nears the airport. Leaving me to sigh a wish for a new travel adventure. A new engine has entered into the sound landscape. Dump trucks rumble past our subdivision. They turn off the main road (half a mile away), but are immediately met by a hill. They gargle as they downshift, engine protesting until they make it to the top.
Sounds travel faster than the trucks. They rrruuummmbbblle down the street a few yards away from my place.
Many of these sounds are temporary. Homes will be constructed, families will occupy the homes, creating a new soundtrack. Dump trucks will complete their current job and move on to new roads. Then I will be left with the gentle sounds of nature.
What’s the soundtrack of your place?