Sounds Which Touch Your Heart

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There are some sounds that even with your eyes closed will tell you where you are, such as the sound of a siren. I have heard the European sirens for long enough now that the sound of American police cars or ambulances racing by strike me as odd. I don’t feel quite at home in the States anymore.

 There are the sounds of people talking around me that my brain is taking in unconsciously. I hardly notice that French is being spoken where ever I go, although I do hear German and Italian quite a bit in tourist areas, especially at the Eiffel Tower. It is a shock when I land at an American airport and first hear that American accent all around. It sounds especially strange if I am in New York City as I’ve never been used to that accent. I get a smile when I land in Dallas and hear all of those Texas accents twanging around, entering my consciousness. After returning to France hearing French seems strange for a few days.

 Once, the last time I was in the States, Maurice and I were walking at night in a city. Suddenly a train went by in the night not too far away and it gave out its long low whistle. It rather pierced my heart, that sound, and I realized that it was one of those uniquely American things that my heart had stored up somehow that I didn’t even know that I missed.

 

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6 thoughts to “Sounds Which Touch Your Heart”

  1. Linda, do you remember hearing the train everynight in Houston when we visited Grandpa and Grandma? Each time I hear a train I think of it.

    Still waiting for you to put Sammie’s blog here.

  2. It is so strange with language and what our brain store. Norwegian is my mother tongue, though I use Englsih alot and read alot of English books. If you ask me if the book I am reading right now is in Norwegian or Englsih I honestly can’t tell without taking a look 🙂

  3. I love the sounds of – and riding – trains! Except Thursday night when Eurostar was really late getting back from London. Like you, it always feels strange for the first few days I’m back in the States. But I’ve traveled so much, I don’t find it hard to adapt wherever I am.

  4. It is amazing what stirs emotions from sounds. I do love hearing other accents. I pick up accents fairly easily. When we traveled each summer to Georgia, I would pick up their accent, then we would move on to Texas, and I would have their drawl all the way home. I did notice the kid has the same thing. While traveling about Europe, we both would pick up either the German or French accents where we were visiting–never did get the Dutch!! Oy!! And the train whistle, it is a lovely sound isn’t it. We have one over he mountain and I still get giddy whenever I hear it when I’m outside.

  5. I remember riding on a coal train when I was a little girl. I put my head out the window and got soot in my eyes…lol I can still hear the whistle blowing and see the beautiful scenery now…Nel

  6. I was in Illinois for a few days at the beginning of the month. I stayed with friends who live out in the country near Urbana. Several trains would go by not far from the house during the night. They would all blow their whistles at grade crossings. It gave me chills. The train horns I hear in France are completely different.

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