Editor’s note: This post was inspired by the Daily Post’s one-word writing prompt: Morning.
For almost three years, I woke up to the same set of sounds. Morning in Regensburg was predictable, and my bedroom window looked over a fairly busy residential street just outside the city center. Many students for the local university lived just a few buildings down the street. With no air conditioning, I left the window cracked open almost every night.
Around 4:30 or 5:00 Am, the street sweeper would come by. By 6, the garbage truck would roll past, and the pedestrians would start their commute, hard soled shoes clicking on the sidewalk.
Some of the people would pull little wheeled suitcases behind them. The rhythmic clack-clack-clack of their rubber wheels meeting the sidewalk seams became very soothing to me. To this day, that sound makes me sleepy.
In winter, the sounds were basically the same, but the street sweeper would be a snow plow, and the footsteps would often be muffled by freshly fallen snow.
My sounds in the morning now are more muted. The weather in South Florida is too hot, too humid to sleep comfortably with the window open. We never have Winter here, and cool air is only felt two or three months out of the year. It’s almost never cool enough to sleep with the window open.
My apartment now is far enough away from most traffic that I only hear a passing vehicle if it’s extremely large or has artificially amplified mufflers. People do that in South Florida, making their tiny economical cars sound like angry racing dragons. I don’t really understand the motivation.
It’s quieter, sure, but sometimes it’s a little too quiet. I’ve taken to running a small fan in the room just to produce some white noise. I think I sleep better here than I did there, because I don’t hear every street sweeper, every drunken student singing through the streets as they come back from the bars in the Altstadt at three in the morning.
I miss the rolling suitcases, though.
Do you sleep with your windows open?