Sometimes I lie in bed in the early morning, just as it’s getting light outside, and think of the sounds from my childhood. If I open the door of recall, I can bring them back for a time.

The silence around me is the best music there is for letting memories rise to the surface.

old rusted truck

Sounds Of Childhood:

In the morning, there were the sounds of the rooster heralding a new day.

The smacking sound of sausage hitting a hot frying pan. Then the sizzle as it browned.

The thump/thud of biscuit dough being turned over on a floured surface.

There was the steadying sound of rain pelting the roof. The crack of thunder that meant another storm was coming.

There was the sound of chickens fussing at me when I gathered the eggs. The sound of the hen house door smacking shut.

Rhythmic sounds of rocking chairs creaking against wood.

old rusted truck

Summer Sounds:

Cicadas were the soundtrack to summer and came like clockwork year after year.

Crickets chirping. Insects hitting the window screens on summer evenings.

The sound of cornstalks whipping against my skinny legs when I ran through the tall rows.

My Granny yelling: “Snake!” And then the sound of her sharp hoe hitting it until she severed the head and threw it over the fence.

old barn

Living in the country meant the sounds were more routine. Certain sounds typically followed the hours of the clock.

The Sound Of Silence:

Silence has its own sound. It is soft and measured. It is the sound of the world taking a breath and letting it out slowly.

The quiet hours are the fulcrum around which thoughts are allowed to develop and memories can rise to the surface.

Here I am at 61, still seeking the sound of silence. What I most yearn to hear are the sounds of nature. Of birds singing and wind blowing and soil sifting through my fingers into a flower pot as I fill it to plant.

horse in pasture

Sounds Of My Day:

My days are a quiet cycle of doing and repeating.

There is of course the sound of me talking to the pets. The soft snore Charlie makes next to me as he sleeps. Ivy’s chirping/chirring sound as she rubs herself against the coffee table.

The sound of the coffeemaker as it spits coffee into the glass carafe.

Sounds the little black stove makes as it sends out heat. The soft purring of my laptop.

Writing is still the journal upon which my memories are gathered and recorded. Where I describe what I see and hear and smell. And put words to random thoughts.

Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows. –  John Betjeman

 

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42 Comments

  1. Hi Brenda, sometimes I enjoy reading your comment replies almost as much as your blog entry. In any event, I recall the comment made by a reader on December 24 at 2:04 pm.
    J commented :” Fact for your readers.
    A person who doesn’t want to be social with family and friends, unfortunately they die alot earlier in life…..alone. So sad! ?“

    I say to thine own self be true and if solitude is your thing, then revel in it!

  2. Thank you for your blog on “Sounds from my Childhood”. It brought back many memories from my childhood. I never lived on a farm but I did live in a small town. The thing that I remember is the train whistle as it rolled along in a distant. I always loved spring and summer with all the flowers and new plants and the birds chirping.

    Today I live in a small town but it is not the same. Of course as an adult everything changes. It is such a fast pace world today. I like being home with my little dog.

    Hope the New Year brings everyone happiness and peace.
    Love and peace to all
    Marilynn and Hayley

  3. Brenda, I loved reading your recollections of sounds from your childhood. The thing that strikes me is that I don’t recall sounds of my early years. I can’t even bring one to the present if I concentrate and try. What I do recall more is smells, images, colors. Isn’t that strange? Although just now I actually do recall one sound I remember–the sound of insects buzzing as I wandered in our pasture when I was around five or six. And I feel the warmth of the sun there as I walked along, trying to miss the cow pies. But no other specific sounds. I must have just not been attuned to sounds like you were. Interesting. One smell I remember, though, is the smell of the baby pigs that my mother fostered when the mother pig wouldn’t take care of them. It was a warm, rather yeasty smell and she had them in a little box set by the heat register and would feed them with a bottle. I guess they all survived but I don’t know for sure.

    Wonderful how our senses cement memories from our past. I mean it’s wonderful when they are good memories.

    Well, the New Year is here as I sit writing–forty-two minutes into it. May it be a good year for us all. And our four-leggeds.

  4. Happy to find lots of interesting lifestyles and thoughts on peaceful living, along with childhood memories, shared here today. I’m in good company. ?

  5. You Ladies make me feel better about myself. I stopped turning on my car radio on the way to work in my late forties..when my husband turns up the TV too loud it drives me insane. (I have my own remote and when he is not looking…I turn it down, lol). Brenda..I loved this post..it literally made me smile. Wouldn’t it be great if life were more simple these days..instead of noisy and everyone in a hurry and a lot of rude folks and drivers.. Cheers to a quiet New Year..

  6. I can hardly bare being in a city with all its noise and exhaust and cars. I grew up in the country also and that is where I feel most at home. The sounds you heard as a child are much like the sounds I heard except for a grandmother killing a snake. We all were scared of snakes. Even my dad. Happy New Year, Brenda.

  7. The screen door onto the back porch slamming! The tractor chugging across the field as hay is baled. Grandma calling from the back porch: “Lunch!” and when we got to the porch, “Wash your feet out there under the faucet.” We never washed our hands to eat – just our dirty feet from running all around the farm. Endless fun on a farm: dam up the creek thinking it would be deep enough for us to swim in – ha! Running through the cow pasture to get back to the farm house – and the cows came a-chasing us, scaring us to death. Scrunching through the barbed wire fence, scratching up your legs and maybe tearing a dress. We wore dresses back then. Grandma thought the Worst Sin was for a female to wear pants of any type. So I wore dresses – until I got home with mama, who did not hold to such a religion. Later, the sound of daddy’s old car bearing him and mama to Grandma’s for the evening visit, where they sat on the front porch talking until the moths flittered around the light, as cars went up and down the road, most honking or waving to say hello to the people on the porch. Us kids running around, playing tag, hiding behind giant oaks, under the half broken down picnic table, then running like lightning when “It” came after us. Time to go home after another great day on the farm. And sleep came quick for those of us who played hard, back when life was easy and fun.

  8. I love your descriptions. Silence coupled with early morning, before the world awakes, is the perfect time for relishing memories of childhood. I can remember a few of these same things…from visiting my great aunt’s farm and visiting with my grandmother. Thank you for taking me back to a few of those cherished things! Love and hugs! Happy New Year!

  9. Brenda, This was a great post and I also loved reading all the memories of the commenters. I don’t have a sense of smell, so I don’t recall any memories like that, but the sounds are clear in my mind. I do recall the comment about people who like solitude will die early and alone. I tried to go back and find it, but I don’t know how. I never get to be alone, never have had that experience, but I yearn to experience it at least once in my life. I’ve been responsible for another human being since I was 18 years old and now I’m 72 and still taking care of adult children and small grandchildren. I wouldn’t give them up for anything, but I wish I could spend maybe one year alone with my dogs. Oh well, it is what it is. Have a blessed day. Sandra

  10. Today I’m listening to the sound of children screaming and crying outside my office door. The mountain top is a madhouse this week, with the Christmas holidays. I crave the quiet of my peaceful house, and would love to be able to work from home like you do. Happy New Year, my friend!

  11. Thanks Brenda for bringing up your childhood memories. My sisters/one brother grew up on a farm that my dad leased. Than they moved to the city before I was born and I missed that part of farming. My dad was a coal miner and the whistle would blow every morning if the miners were to go to work. I remember that sound and the sound of the trains going by our house out back. I had a simple childhood and have fond memories of it. Didn’t have a lot but had good parents, a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs and lots of love. I love my time alone! My husband traveled for 43 years and I became very independent. We are both loners. LOL Now, more than ever, I like being alone and doing what I want. LOL The lady that asked about your quotes – my mother had so many and how I wished I wrote them down. Happy New Year to you, Charlie and Ivy! You add so much to our year with just your stories.

  12. Hi Brenda,
    As I get older I love the sound of quiet! Peace evokes when things are calm and quiet.
    Right now it is snow mixed with rain hitting the windows and the sound is actually soothing. I love the summer months to have the windows open and hear nature begin the day and also the sounds ending the day. Great post.
    Hugs and Happy New Year.
    Kris

  13. I haven’t commented in the longest while either, but I have to say I read every day, oftentimes before starting my workday/working from home and your posts have grounded me over the years, calmed me, resonated. There is always a takeaway, something I “note to self.” Today it was, “Silence has its own sound. It is soft and measured. It is the sound of the world taking a breath and letting it out slowly.” I really think you should go all the way back to the beginning of your archives–and I know some of it was lost–and build a book of quotes. Your words carry us all onward. I wish you the best this new year!

  14. So interesting to read everybody’s long lost memories of childhood. I grew up near a large Air Force base in the 1950’s. The sound of large aircraft coming and going is a lullaby to me. Hadn’t thought of it in years.

  15. My memory of wooden screen doors creaking open and then softly slamming as the stretched spring snaps back in place. I love that sound. I loved the sound of cars going over the plank bridge over the river that I heard when I stayed at my grandparents. The smells I remember with nostalgia is coffee perking on the stove and bacon or ham frying for grandpa’s breakfast in an iron skillet followed by eggs and potatoes. My grandmother made the best homemade bread and when she toasted it I thought I had died and gone to heaven. My grandpa had been a deep mine coal miner but when I was a kid he worked in a factory that did iron works. His breakfast was always the same and what meat wasn’t eaten he took with him to have for lunch. Those were really the good old days and kids today will not have anything like them. So sad for this country.

  16. Like Judi, (first comment) I so enjoy being home, avoiding crowds, traffic noise, and waiting in line. I have an active family life and there is nothing “weird” about me either, but I most enjoy my own company in the silence of my nest when it is occupied by only myself and my pets. In the past few posts, someone vigorously chastised us solitude seekers with a rebuke that stunned me – we’ll die early and alone! Yikes! I beg to differ with her. Running in frantic circles to please everyone else is no way to live. Better a short life span of blissful solitude than a longer, frenzied one, fearful of discovering you don’t really like yourself and need constant distraction from that sad fact!

    1. Where did you read these comments? I didn’t see them. And to each their own. If they like noise, let them drench themselves in it. I’ll take silence any day of the way.

  17. I’m glad you have some peaceful memories of sounds from childhood, as well as comforting sounds today. When you talked about the sounds of breakfast being prepared, it made me remember some kitchen sounds from my childhood. We had a big room off of the kitchen that was a combination dining room and family room. There was a couch and TV in that room as well as the dining table and chairs. I remember one early evening when I was ill with some childhood malady and I was lying on the couch, listening to my mom fixing supper. I heard a sizzle in the skillet and then caught the smell of salmon patties frying. I then knew we’d be having peas and some form of potatoes to go with the salmon patties. I was a bit disappointed that evening because it wasn’t my favorite supper. But it’s a combination I’ve grown to enjoy as I’ve gotten older. I also knew that evening that my mom must be due for a trip to the grocery store, because it seemed to me that we only had salmon patties when all of the other good choices in the fridge and pantry were used up!

    Thanks for sharing the pleasant sounds of your life.

    1. My neighbor always had boiled potatoes and peas with salmon cakes. My mother never made anything with salmon so I considered this a treat when invited to eat with them.

  18. I don’t recall my childhood being quiet.
    We lived in a N.Y.C.suburb,it was a small town then everyone knew everybody,looked out for all us kids,I grew up with boys so was never a girly girl…
    It all changed when Mom passed on 1/4/67 our lives kind of went off the rails and never really righted itself.
    In 1993,my family moved to the country with no neighbors and I loved the peace and quiet and the freedom to do whatever…
    When hubby passed in 06,it became to much for me to deal with alone so I moved to a small town,it’s no where near as busy as where I grew up is now but the traffic going by on this little road is at times incredible!
    Happy,healthy 2019 to you,Charlie and Ivy!

  19. Beautifully written! After reading your post I sat here thinking of my own childhood. I was raised on a dairy farm so my memories include
    cows mooing, baby calf’s bawling to be fed. And the neighbor coming to our place on his John Deere tractor. My father called it a Johnny popper as it made a destinct sound.

  20. You have a wonderful way with words and usually speak right to my heart. I’ve come to a point in my life where silence truly is golden.

    Thank you!

  21. I don’t comment often with the blogs I read but your post today sprung me to do so. I crave quietness as I have gotten older. I don’t even play the radio anymore whether in the house or in the car. I live in the country and enjoy the sounds of the animals and birds stirring in the morning. I have tall grasses in my yard and enjoy their rustling as I go for my walk. I shared with a friend the other day I have such a hard time leaving the farm anymore the shock that my body goes through when I re-enter society which means stores, traffic and people’s voices. I am not a hermit as I am social with people through church and meeting friends for lunch and I talk to people on the phone but I enjoy being at home. This is where I nest and replenish my “being”. Someone told me once that to like being with oneself is a gift. It took me a long time to know that’s how I am and I am not weird or a misfit. A long time to accept myself. Thanks for reminding me.

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