One of the strangest things about living on campus is adjusting to living in the city.
At home when I open my window at night I hear frogs, crickets, coyotes, the wind, or simply stillness, depending on the time of year. However, when I lay down in the dorms to sleep, I hear traffic and sirens and people talking and roaming the streets.
It’s funny how much people are used to sirens here. When I’m at home, I look up every time a simple car drives down our gravel road. In high school, if we heard sirens outside during class, everyone would run to the window to see what was going on. But here, cars drive by almost constantly and people barely turn their heads when they hear the siren of a cop car or ambulance. The strangest part of all is how much I have gotten used to the traffic and sirens myself. I don’t feel the need to look out the window whenever a car goes by. When I hear a siren I simply send up a prayer for the situation instead of running to see what’s happening.
Some nights my friends and I go for walks. If it’s nice out, we will walk to the retention pond, sit down and just look up at the stars. It can be peaceful at that time of night and the water flowing from the fountains can have a relaxing sound.
The stars are beautiful, but I can’t help but imagine how many more there would be if I were laying in my yard at home. The water has a calming sound, but can be drowned out by car and people, even at night. The sound of water trickling through a creek without any background noise would have an even more soothing effect.
The lights of a city are bright and have a way of dimming the beautiful twinkles God gave us to look at in the night sky. The sounds of a city are loud and constant and have a way of drowning the beautiful sounds of God’s creation.
I love life at the U of I, but I can’t help but miss the beauty of nature I can enjoy at home in the country. I may be getting used to traffic, sirens, people, and dimmer stars but the next time I’m home, I won’t take the quiet, peaceful night for granted.
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