Thursday, 5 February 2009

The sounds of the thaw

I realise that for many this may be a little premature or even irrelevant. If so then bear with me because this post is really about ephemeral sounds. This morning, walking with my daughter to school, I heard sounds that only happen when snow is melting. The sounds of slush: feet in slush, wheels of bicycles and cars in slush. There's a wet but slightly crunchy quality to that.

The sounds of water dripping without it raining at the same time. Water dripping or running onto surfaces and objects. These sounds are audible with a clarity that doesn't exist if they are accompanied by the patter of rain. My favourite was water dripping from gutters two stories up onto the new blue wheelie bins we have in this part of town for our recyclable waste. They must have been emptied very recently and had a hollow, tubby sound to them that only they could make.

So what could have been a pretty miserable journey, with my inadequate shoes letting in water (to remind me to polish them), became something in which I could take pleasure. Enough, at least, to take my mind of the coldness of my feet. And the moral in case you haven't already guessed? Enjoy the sounds around you, especially those you don't hear often. Listen hard enough and there's nearly always something to reward you.

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