It's a loud world out there.

Today I was awakened by the sound of jackhammers and a chainsaw - my neighbors are at work digging up a cement patio or something and I'm not sure what the chainsaw is doing. For some months, the gas company has been digging holes in the streets all over my neighborhood to put in new gas lines. Big equipment runs every day up and when the huge dump trucks rattle over the speed bump in front of our house, the whole house shakes.

While I was out in the yard today, a pair of robins were shouting to one another - one was on the cable TV line in that goes from the pole to our house and the other was in a neighbor's tree. The robin in our yard would make a kind of barking noise and the robin in the tree would answer back. This went on for a good ten minutes straight, and I enjoyed it, until the jackhammer started up again.

So I came inside and slammed some dishes around in the kitchen in irritated protest. This afternoon I'll be going to a basketball game inside a noisy gym where whistles will blow and people will shout and all the noises will echo all over.

Oh, for my own soothing fountain or waterfall for respite.

It's hard to listen for God amid the noise of the world. I am thinking about folks who live in the midst of constant, unremitting urban noise with little prospect of escape. Such must be a soul-deadening life.

Sometimes I deliberately want noise. I like driving down the highway with my roof open, windows down and music blaring. I like to listen to music in a variety of venues, including when my (other) neighbor does yard work to opera outside. I like to listen to voices. And all the birds and animals. Rushing wind, rain, even thunderstorms are good to listen to. Fountains, pools, any kind of water lapping or spraying or falling (ok, maybe not dripping). Best of all, I like to listen to the pounding surf.

I think it's time for a vacation.