Yesterday morning I was woken up by the sound of birds and my bedroom being filled with the bright early rays of sun. I am not in Manhattan anymore. The first night in my new apartment I was most struck by the fact that it was virtually silent. The only sounds were the creaking of the building and the wind rustling the trees outside. I never realized how accustomed I had become to the constant white noise of living a block away from a major highway, constant sirens from the hospital a few blocks away, the bells of the parking garage just outside my windows, and the general noise of living in the midst of a major city.
This morning I heard lawnmowers and weed whackers, two things I have not heard very often in the last five years. Today I have heard many of them and I have a feeling these noises are going to become a regular part of the outside noise repertoire in my new apartment. My bedroom windows overlook backyards, lots of them, which means there is grass to mow and weeds to whack. I look at those backyards and think, “someday I will have one of those.”
I am slowly getting used to having space and doors after five years of living in studios in Manhattan. There are two bedrooms, a long hallway, and a kitchen that does not bleed into the living room/bedroom/office in my new apartment. I have spent a lot of time walking from room to room and meandering up and down the hallway. I keep catching myself gazing out the windows for obscenely long periods of time. I am slowly taking in the environment that surrounds my new home. I watch the various trees shifting and swaying in the wind. I watch the clouds passing in the sky. I watch the people and cars passing on the street below. I take in every angle and curve of the buildings just outside my windows. I look at the plants left on my fire escape from the previous tenant and wonder not only what they are but if I will be able to keep them alive. It feels like a new land I have come to inhabit.