What is your favorite sound?
I wonder what the most common answer to this question is. Perhaps laughter, or the sound of loved voices. I’d imagine some would list a favorite band or music genre. I’m sure there would even be a “right” answer for some, something spiritual. Maybe, “a voice in the wind.” (A sardonic voice, preferably.)
I wish I could say my answer wouldn’t be included in a list of the most common answers. But that would be lying.
I could dishonestly tell you my favorite sound is a duck quacking. I could say it’s the sound of the microwave. Or a fly buzzing. But my duck love doesn’t really extend to how obnoxious they sound, and our microwave beeps until you open it, which might end up being reason enough to replace it ASAP. Flies buzzing? Don’t talk to me about that.
I could honestly list some smaller sounds I really like. The hard snap when I flick open my stiletto pocket knife. The subtle intensity of high heels clicking on pavement and tile. The sound of when my sewing machine actually works – or rather, when I use it properly for once. Clicking of aluminum knitting needles, as opposed to the silence of hateful plastic ones. Chicago sounds, of course. (I claim that’s why we moved to a city-side room in Houghton. In reality, it was the only room left on 3 when we finally signed up for rooming!)
And I’m sure that if I get married and have a family someday, I’ll probably have to be ultra cheesy and add each of their voices to a list like that.
But the number one sound in my life right now?
Rain. Not on the playground, or when the kids at camp have been in all day and desperately need to run around outside. Not when I’m halfway through a run and carrying my phone and half-dead iPod (although, it might end up as a good reason to replace the latter.) Not when it’s a near-freezing cold Chicago day and I’m obligated to be somewhere I can’t reach by tunnel. Not when beach plans were well anticipated.
No, not at those times. At those times, I don’t even notice the sound. If anything, it’s a reminder of the cold, the dark, the antsy bickering of five year old boys, the sunlit sand postponed.
But a rainstorm is still my most beloved sound. One of my most content moments is when the world decides it’s time for a rainstorm just when I decide it’s time for a nap. Waking up to rain? Equally enchanting, provided I set my alarm early enough that I still have a few snooze-length naps left.
Studying to pounding drops, reading to a light drizzling, heart-to-hearts to steady tapping. Walks under sobbing clouds. Newspaper meetings held to the tumbling of thunder.
I think that rain must be a girl, the most stereotypical girl of all. Fully accessorized, she is, what with perfect puddles in all sizes and shapes. She’s a hairdresser, queen of the happyhearted drenched style. She’s overly dramatic, and ridiculously high maintenance. But that voice. What a voice. A soprano and an alto, and even a bass and a tenor. That voice makes up for any inconvenience.
And I love it. It’s hardly a unique favorite sound, but it’s mine.