Few things get the eyes rolling faster on those who Know me best than me mentioning my indignation over ambient light and noise. Both topics play on my greatest hits collection of irritants for only me. Each is a consequence of proximity to… neighbors.
Don’t get me wrong, I like my neighbors. Until they do things that normal people do that encroach on my world. Things like mowing the lawn, vacuuming, or the worst offense, leaving a light on. Nothing encroaches on an evening outside by the fire pit like a neighbor’s floodlight illuminating your backyard. Nothing illuminates that feeling of waking up with the world like a neighbor’s floodlight shining in your window shouting “Are you up yet??” But there I go again; greatest hits of irritants.
Ultimately it comes down to living on the edge of solitude but not quite far enough into the deep end. My desire to see the stars runs head-on into their desire to feel safer on a quiet street at night. And so I grumble a bit to myself and a few trusted advisors and move on. I don’t really want to live on an island out in the middle of the ocean, but I do want to visit once in awhile.
I spent the night on the Cape last night to visit my parents. I live on the edge of the woods in New Hampshire, this is the edge of Buzzards Bay. Both are blessings. Middle of the night I woke up to the rain pelting the roof and window panes. Got up to slide the windows closed and went back to sleep until the storms passed. Got up as the sky lightened to crows and crickets deep in conversation and the slap of waves on the jetty. Sitting down on the deck to take it all in a mosquito cozied up for a drink before meeting my right hand (her Maker, apparently). This kind of encroachment I can take. So why not a little ambient light? I’m funny that way.