Monday, February 14, 2011

The Sound of Midnight

Back in the middle of the last century the small communities around a big city were called the Suburbs. Later they were referred to as Bedroom Communities. Now we are called the Metro Area. Whatever…Wood Village is a small incorporated entity with its own government and a population of a little over 1000. The same size as the Small Town where I lived in Missouri. But very different. There is no downtown and the next town begins at the city limits. An unending circle around Portland. A band between urban and rural, between city and country.

With none of the sounds of either. At midnight on a Sunday it is totally quiet. No airplanes taking off, or trucks rumbling by, or car doors slamming, or people out on the town laughing and calling out to each other. No horses neighing, or chickens clucking, or birds tweeting, or farm equipment rolling by to reach the fields before dawn. The city has noises and country has sounds. But here we have nothing.

Lying in bed last night I listened for something to help me identify where I was. The quiet was all around and smothered me. I could hear my dog breathing but nothing came in from the outside. The silence was keeping me awake. Was there no motorcycle speeding down Sandy? No raccoon raiding some neighbor’s garbage can? No red eye flight heading back east? No sirens? No music drifting from a radio somewhere?

This is the true sound of silence.


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