Listening

I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life in three words: it goes on. [Robert Frost]

Every morning, I wake up and I listen.  I don’t get out of bed, I just listen. I can hear all kinds of things.  there’s the chirping of many different birds, not a single one I can name. depending on the day, sometimes there are less birds singing and the chorus is replaced with the sound of rain cascading down from the sky onto my roof and hitting the bottom of the overturned canoe in my back yard.  I can hear my next door neighbor’s baby begin screaming as she awakes.  I can hear the muffled snores of my roommate in his room across the house.  depending on the day of the week, I can hear the trash and recycling trucks making their early morning rounds.  I can hear my neighbors opening and closing their car doors as they head to work.  I live in an area where it seems like everyone has a truck, they all seem to be diesel, and I listen to the familiar sound of their trucks idling before they pull away.  I still just listen.  I can usually hear the murmured sound of one of my dogs twitching her paws and quietly barking while she has a dream; I love that she dreams. I can barely hear the alert on my cell phone from the other room, letting me know I’ve received an email.  I’m never in a hurry to check it though because the emails are never from the sender I’m hoping they are.  I always hear the first morning yawn of my other dog as he senses my consciousness; his jaw always pops during it for some reason.  it’s a trait that he picked up from his human dad. I’m not saying that jaw popping during yawns is something I truly believe to be a cross-species learned action, but I am saying dogs resemble their owners and they both do it.  I can hear my A/C unit come to life outside and then eventually hear the cool air start to force out of the ceiling vents in the house.  I hear lots of things every morning, but I never really hear the sound that I’m listening for.  the one diesel engine that would make both my dogs jump off the bed and run to the front door, usually before I had even detected it.  I smile a little as I remember the way it sounded: old, but reliable  like it had been working hard for years, but it still had plenty left.  it was a real work truck, unlike some of the other diesels I normally hear in the neighborhood.  Although it might not have been as new-it was covered with dings and dents which all had different stories behind them- it was my favorite. so every morning, I just listen. hoping one day the familiarity and serenity will be broken with the sound of that ram 3500 diesel idling to a stop in the driveway, with that little squeal that only it has as it turns off.  I still haven’t heard it and that’s okay because I have learned that life does go on, but that doesn’t mean that it hurts to still listen.

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