Saturday, July 18, 2015

Inch Seventy-Two: Whistling

I heard a sound this morning, early, that is so rarely heard anymore that I had to listen for a few seconds before placing it.

It was someone whistling.

In searching for the source, I soon saw and heard a tradesman across the street, working on the neighbor's driveway, whistling while he carried his brushes and buckets up and down the driveway. 

We are always surrounded by sound here. There are the birds, of course. The cicadas are back for the summer and today being a warmer day than we have had as of late, they set up their chatter early. There is street traffic and the occasional hum (more audible at night) of the nearby highway. If there is a light breeze, as there is while I type this, wind chimes start sounding. But there is never anyone whistling.

This guy sounded as if he were whistling for the pleasure of the sound. Or the pleasure of the morning. Or perhaps both.

Where did whistling go? It is rare (unheard of) that I hear anyone whistling anymore just for the heck of it.  Is it because so many are plugged into their iPods or other devices that whistling has fallen by the wayside? Have people forgotten how to whistle? 

Jo March famously "sat up, put her hands in her pockets, and began to whistle" just to annoy Amy in the opening chapter of Little Women. The Little House books are full of whistling: Pa whistles constantly, Laura whistles and even sings a song about whistling to Almanzo when they are courting. And I believe it is somewhere in that same canon that I came across the saying that "a whistling girl and a crowing hen always come to some bad end." 

As of late, I have been piecing my days together, more crazy quilt than carefully crafted pattern. Today is stitched together with whistling.


see you there! said...

Your whistling girls quote made me smile. My Great Grandmother used to say that. You are right, I can't remember the last time I heard any one whistle a tune. Must have been delightful.


Linda said...

That's true.....I hardly ever hear anyone whistling. We are too plugged in!!! I am guilty as anyone else. But when I am away from it I don't even miss it. BTW I can't whistle.

Laurie said...

Whistling is a wonderfully happy sound, isn't it? Occasionally my man whistles while he works on something, and it feels as though all is well with the world.