I live very close to a main freeway, so every morning I wake up to the collective rumbling of commuter engines. At night, I often hear our neighbors opening/closing car doors, and driving in and out of our street until around midnight. Twice a week, the garbage and recycling trucks clunk loudly past my bedroom window around 5AM. And the sirens and people riding loud motorcycles (why are they so purposefully loud?) are consistent.
Austin is notorious for crowds, traffic, and construction (There is currently a major project going on around the building where I work – jackhammers, diggers, the whole thing.), so these sounds have become an ubiquitous part of life, but increasingly harder to ignore. Lately I’ve noticed a constant sense of urgency in my brain, due to recent stress, that is heightened by all this urban buzzing. Frankly, I’m tired of it. Literally tired since I haven’t fully relaxed or gotten very good sleep in months (years?). It’s all making me want to pack a few bags and retire to an isolated cabin someplace where I can calm down and recharge. (Until I need a better internet connection.)
I was recently reminded of some time I spent in northern California a few years ago, visiting my brother outside of Santa Rosa. His house was very isolated on top of a hill surrounded by trees, so every morning I woke up to the sounds of absolutely nothing. (The only exception was the occasional wild turkey gobbling around the backyard.) It was jarring, surreal, and wonderful. I could really use some silent mornings.