If You Listen…What Do You Hear?

My house is in an interesting position really. At the back, on the other side of some ancient trees is a public walkway, and beyond that an old folks supported housing complex. At the front is a close of houses with a mix of residents. Usually it’s a very ‘quiet’ neighbourhood, although I can hear the cars on the road, it doesnt bother me at all. The absolute stillness of night in the depths of the countryside used to really disturb me. But I got used to that too.

But my bedroom has a window at both ends – front and back – and with this outragously hot and humid weather, both have been open. It’s a bit like having neighbourhood surround sound.

It is 4.50 am right now and, as is often the case for me, I woke up after a few hours sleep, wide awake, and I have been listening – as I so often do – to the world waking up outside.

Normally there is a bird that cries a very distinct sound that appears to me to be “blurgy blurgy blurgy” LOL.
Other days the crows raucously take over the morning air, reminding me of cockney barrow boys as they set up for the day. Dont ask me why *shrugs*

But this morning’s dawn is gentle…..soft…almost romantic and somewhat sleepy. It belongs to the Wood Pigeons of which we have many. Their call is one of my favourite sounds. “Woo hoo…hoo, woo hoo…hoo”. It reminds me of childhood, of falling asleep listening to the same sound while it was still light…..of long hazy carefree summer days……of relaxing.
There is a background twitter of smaller sparrowy/wren type birds gossiping as they always do. With the occasional busy goose or two flying overhead.

Earlier today, I was also witness to another sound of childhood. It wasnt the usual shouty noise of boys ‘playing’ that we are subject to – that so often ends with tears. No. Today, this was a little girl.

And for a change, she was playing by herself. There were no other children out today. And for the longest time, all I could hear was her song.

She was completely unselfconscious. Totally caught up in her imagination as she invented the words and melody from moment to moment. There was no plan to this song, no chorus or verse, the words made no sense. But she sang it without pause. It flowed from a quiet ditty to her belting it out at the top of her voice and you could **feel** that every second of it came straight from her heart.

It was amazing. Quite simply, it was magical.

And she blessed me with a repeat performance in the afternoon too, from her garden.

This small child has a troubled past, through no fault of her own, and her behaviour when she first moved here impacted on all of us living in this small area around her.

So I was moved for two reasons by her singing today.
Firstly – because it gave me a very welcome reminder of what it *really* was to be a child. For me, that was pre 9 yrs old. No adult concerns at all. Just able to be totally consumed by…….your imagination…..singing….whatever you were doing at the time. Completely un. self. consciously. I think the only times I have come close to that as an adult has been during sleep….and maybe…love making.

And secondly, because she still has that capacity in her, when she is alone, and doesn’t need to be tough; she has the means – as she should at that young age – to give her heart and imagination a voice. It gives me hope she’ll be ok, you know.

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