Leaving the barn, she stopped in its shadow, listening to the sounds of the coming night, but tonight there was more. Moving toward the house, her steps muffled by the grass beside the gravel path, she hoped the loudness of her beating heart wouldn’t give her away. Across the yard, the gate she always kept closed at the front of the house, was hanging open. She had meant to oil the hinges until she realized the squeaking noise they made had become her alarm system. The moving silhouette rounding the corner of the house confirmed she was not alone.
Sounds heard during the day often become a comforting white noise. Those same sounds at night are very different. If you allow yourself to get to a point where your mind is in tune with the normal sounds, day or night, it takes nothing to realize there is something different going on.
Taking time to listen to your surroundings, whether urban or rural, will instil knowledge you are unaware of until it happens. Subtle noises that are not normal for the time of day, or location, may be enough of a warning to move your brain to a different level of paying attention. It’s not about listening to things that might be troubling, and it’s not about becoming complacent, although these are both important. It’s about being vigilant and not missing the moments when the sounds you hear might make you smile.