JUST THINKING: Nighhttime noises

Just Thinking | Julie Stafford

I once stayed with a friend who lived in a high rise right in the heart of Chicago. We had a ball during the day, walking the path along Lake Michigan, window-shopping, eating and drinking unique and delicious foods and wines, lots of hustle and bustle.

But I had a hard time sleeping when it was time for bed — city lights lit the room all night, sirens blared out what seemed like every hour. That’s when I knew for sure that I wasn’t a city girl. I was used to being lulled by the nighttime noises that come with Colorado rural living — coyotes howling, raccoons chattering, birds all a twitter in the morning.

The noises might be a little different than they were out west, but I love sitting on our deck here in Greenville in the evening, meditating to the chorus of frogs, watching bats swoop and dive, hearing geese squawk and splash in their jockey for position. Mother Nature’s white noise.

I know a lot of people need some kind of noise to fall asleep, be it a fan, an actual white noise machine, the TV. I don’t necessarily “need” this kind of thing — especially in the winter when it gets dark so early and I have to work hard anyway just to stay awake until 9. But I do love sleeping with a window cracked open so I can hear the hustle and bustle of critters in the night. There’s just something soothing about it.

A person’s mood kind of falls into the same category as sleep because they are so intertwined. Particularly when it comes to the weather and being able to open your windows and plant pansies in your pots and exercise after work while it’s still light outside.

Sunshine translates into a good mood, which motivates me to get outside, which makes me tired and ready for bed. I recently had a houseguest who was debating whether she wanted to live in a big city with all of its excitement and trendy food and fashion or in more of a rural, undeveloped area surrounded by trees and the sounds of nature.

For me, there’s no debate or question. I am a woodsy kind of girl who wouldn’t trade living amidst the sounds of the chorus of frogs and the squawking of geese for anything a big city could offer.

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