It's so quiet and yet so loud.
We live inside the 'beltway' Just inside
. On normal days, it hums. The small planes buzz over from the nearby College Park airport. Helicopters fly overhead as we live in a flight pattern to and from Joint Base Andrews. In the mornings I usually hear the either the Metro or MARC leaving the Greenbelt station. They are the normal and nonintrusive sounds from living in a metro area. I love the sounds of industry as it mingles with the notes that the birds sing.
Growing up on Long Island and later living in the Hudson Valley, I have always felt oddly comforted by that sort of hum, especially trains. When I moved to Atlanta, that sound was there again, the freight trains. Later when we moved to Virginia we lived so close to National Airport that I could hear the planes gearing up for early morning flight. It was especially comforting. When we moved to Maryland instead of planes, this time it was the hum of the beltway and (like the other places I lived) the cumulation of white noise from the overall metro area.
Yesterday I noticed that the cars and trucks circling around our nation's capitol seem especially loud. Loud enough to distract me, which was odd. That normally something that is just there and not really distracting. And then it occurred to me. Everything is shut down.
There is so little normal urban-suburban nouse pollution (for lack of a better term) that the only sound are the vehicles on the road. And the birds. The birds are singing as much as ever.
I want things to sound normal again.