Monday, October 10, 2005

The other day I was stepping out the door and heard an angry chattering on the wind. At first I attributed it to 'nature sounds'--my vague catchall for anything I hear outside. Being deaf doesn't allow one to be creative in naming sounds. Then I remembered Jon telling me of squirrels and their active participation in city life. I looked up and saw, sure enough, a grey squirrel staring beadiliy down at me, black fingers curled round a branch, vigorously shaking it like the wind at play with leaves.

I stood and gaped at this furry thing that, to me, had abruptly gained a voice. It was as though one of the mysteries of life had been granted to me, and I could understand animal tongues. We gazed at each other like two strangers meeting in a familiar place, curious yet wary. Then a car roared past, I remembered the keys in my hand, and he dashed off.

This is what life with Jon has done for me; a previously unknown door has been opened. He has been explaining the sounds of nature to me throughout our life together: on hikes, in the backyard, a city stroll. Oftentimes, he'll stand at the door to our apartment, just before we go in with our groceries, and say "Hear that?" and then explains what animal or phenomenon of nature has just sounded out its claim on life. It is all very strange to me, as though I am still a child, learning how to define the world.

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