Things I can hear

I am newly aware of hearing today. The outdoor summer sounds this evening in my busy, crowded part of the city remind me of when I lived on a hillside in Yaoundé where, wafting across the valley as evening fell, I could hear conversations, laughter, arguments, music live and recorded, cicadas and sometimes frogs announcing the rain. Here, in the warm night, animated conversations from the pub garden, the clatter of skateboards, accents, a motorbike or two, laughter and the sound of an occasional bus come on the breeze through the open window.

How do all those different soundwaves reach me as separate pieces of music rather than as interference? How can my tiny eardrums vibrate at all of these at once and enable my brain to unscramble them?

This morning they were assaulted by the endless roar of the A34 as we stood on a pedestrian bridge collecting supportive hoots and aggressive hand gestures from motorists below. I'm glad they recovered.

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