Annie, that is in so many ways the point. A dear mentor of mine who passed at nearly 100 lived in Chevy Chase, long before houses there were sky high in price. She had a gorgeous garden which, on the other side of her tall trees, were backed by increasingly large buildings. The city wanted to run the Metro right through her back yard and she fought it to her dying day. To her credit she kept that noise out of her neighborhood. An activist all her life, she had standards and values that were not to be denied. She’s my hero. She was able to preserve a piece of heaven for her neighbors. Who knows what will happen now that she’s gone, but this is one example of what an individual can do.
The truth is that we grow or die. I am currently in Borneo, where I was up most of the night not from night sounds but people sounds. The place here is not made for light sleepers, and the mosque prayers blast you at ALL hours. I was sent flying out of bed all night long by people dropping stuff, talking too loudly, then at 4 am all hell broke loose with all the neighborhood mosques blasting away. Not what I expected. I can sleep through any kind of natural woodlands sound, an African night, you name it, but not people noise. It’s like having someone hit me on the head with an anvil. so I have to move to another place where I hope to get some sleep. This is a harbinger. Finding quiet, silence and places to be where folks don’t feel the need to fill the spaces of nature with noise is going to be a genuine challenge. Especially for those of us who grew up surrounded by nature, it’s a bit difficult. However, we grow or die. I just wish I had earplugs. I didn’t think I’d need them, and that is again a great lesson in how the world is changing.