Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's All Perspective

There are plusses and minuses to all the various places that we live. What we need to do is keep things in perspective when we grouse about a particular thing that is bugging us. Certainly you readers should know that if I have to be living in NY I really like SI. And I love the sense of living with nature that our house gives me, with the full woods at the back of the house. And yet....

On the occasions that we have had to stay overnight in Brooklyn for a Shabbos simcha I've been unable to get any sleep. The constant sound of traffic and the inevitable sirens have me tossing and turning. Yet the reverse is true for others; those who have stayed with us over a Shabbos have more than once complained that it's just too quiet and they couldn't fall asleep. Well, if they came now they wouldn't be able to make that statement.

Right now It's that small window we get of just perfect weather. We're between full heat blasting and airconditioning blasting. The windows are joyously thrown open. Even though it's still a bit cool at night, it's refreshing, snuggle under the covers cool rather than bone chilling. And I haven't had a full night's sleep since we opened the windows. The problem? Ralph and Alice and all their feathered friends are running on a biological clock way different from mine. At even a small suggestion of light breaking over the horizon those dratted birds break out in full concert. In the blink of an eye they go from full sleep to a 1000 bird rendition of the Brandenburg Concerto.

Nope, 5:17AM is just not my favorite time of day, and raving at ravens is not the way I want to start that day. Yes, yes, I know--get some perspective. I'd be a lot unhappier if I lived where there were no birds, where nature was something I read about rather than experiencing first hand. A lot easier to get that perspective if I weren't facing a 19-hour day on too little sleep. I guess our esteemed government leaders haven't yet figured out how to get our wildlife on the daylight savings schedule so that it meshes with the humans with whom those birds share the world.

Right about the time that I finally learn to sleep through the birdsong it will be time to turn on the air conditioners, and I'll have to start all over again in getting used to weird sounds during sleep. But hark--there's a lull in the concerto and I'm heading back to bed to make up the sleep deficit. Shakespeare sends me off with hope--"To sleep, perchance to dream."


Anonymous said...

Your birds sleep late. Mine seem to be up and singing by 4:45 -- and I can hear them through closed windows. I still would not trade it for living in the city.

The Rebbetzin's Husband said...

Birdsong doesn't bother me. The bird that continually crashes into my kitchen window - despite a shade, a
'scarecrow', and so on - does.

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

Your opening contrast is interesting. We experienced that out here last Rosh Hashanah. A young talmid hacham from Manhattan came out to help us make yom tov in the community. Walking through the neighborhood at night, he complained about it being too dark. We actually wish there was even less light, to allow greater view of the stars. As it is, we see far more stars than New Yorkers ever do. But to him, it was discomfiting. Same for the relative lack of bustle and noise.