This is a little something which I wrote in this week’s creative writing session. The prompt was “the most beautiful sound in the universe”.
Every day I am surrounded by sounds. The whistle of the kettle boiling the water for my morning coffee, the rustle of the newspaper as my husband turns its pages, the stomp of my son’s shoe-clad feet on the stairs. Outside on the street there are yet more sounds: horns blaring, doors slamming, people shouting. After a while it all turns into one indiscernable roar of noise. I cannot escape it, even if I plug my ears. It just continues, the sounds reverberating inside my brain.
Sometimes, when it’s late at night and I can’t sleep, I go downstairs and sit at the kitchen table. Even then, alone in the dark, there are sounds. My husband’s snoring, audible despite the heavy oak door between us. The slow steady beep of the smoke detector. Dripping, from the tap which we never seem to have time to fix. An occasional wailing siren, splitting the night in two.
It is at times like these that I close my eyes and remember. I remember my childhood, in a village so small that the local bus was barely more than an oversized people-carrier. I remember sitting at my bedroom window, staring in the direction of the city, where the life and the energy and the people were, and longing to be a part of it. I remember the silence of the nights there, broken only by the birds singing as daylight approached. I remember that birdsong, the only sound in an otherwise silent world. The most beautiful sound in the universe.