Living on a busy street corner in the lively city of St. Paul, I can track the seasons by the sounds out my window.
Winter brings the moan of snowplows as they clear the street, the extra crunchiness of the snow as the early morning commuters drive down Hartford signalling that it is very cold out, indeed.
Fall is the sound of football in the field across the street, and the drone of leafblowers as neighbors clean their yards of the abundance of leaves. Fall is also the sound of the high schoolers slamming their car doors in the morning, as they park outside my house and trudge to a day of classes. Fall is the exploding sound of buses as they drive by our house, delivering students to neighborhood schools.
Spring brings rain on the roof, and the return of the songbirds who delight in a 4:30 wake up call. Windows thrown open to catch the fresh air, the increased sounds of early morning joggers and the newspaper delivery rouse me from my slumber.
But summer, summer is a cacophony of sound. It is the sound of softball games played on lazy summer nights, carefree boys riding their bikes down the street, no handed. The melodic sounds of the ice cream truck as it cruises the road, looking for hungry customers. It is birds building nests and crows in the field early in the morning. It is late night crickets, and nighthawks swooping overhead to catch bugs. It is cicadas in August, and the sound of the fair bus as it picks up eager passengers with dreams of deep fried things on a stick. It is sprinklers, and children being pulled in wagons, and evening pick up baseball games.
The romance of our late summer sounds has been shattered this year by the frequent flyovers of giant jets, hurrying through the sky just overhead to land at the airport. Due to runway construction, we will have increased traffic through the end of October. Some days they arrive nearly 2 minutes apart. But I will suffer them, and try to filter the sounds I long to hear, knowing they are still there under the noisy drone of the jumbo jets.