You may have wondered, how quiet is our village at this time of year? My answer: Very. The only occasional loud noises occur when a large truck or tractor rumbles through Daglan on the main street, or when someone is employing hammers and saws for a renovation project.
Otherwise, we are talking seriously quiet. I’ll illustrate with two brief examples.
Earlier this week, I was heading out our front steps when I paused to listen to a strange sound. It took me a few seconds to figure it out, but then I realized that the loudest thing I was hearing was — wait for it — the sound of leaves falling through the branches of a neighbour’s walnut tree. Yes, the loudest thing I could hear was the sound of falling leaves.
Now even that source of noise is gone. After just a few days, the cold we’ve been experiencing at night has caused most of the walnut tree’s leaves to drop, so that the tree top looks like this:
And then yesterday, as I went out to my car, the loudest sound I could hear was the water gushing out of the nearby lavoir — the spring-fed pool that was used by previous generations of women to wash their clothes. Because we’ve had so much rain recently, more water than usual is running underground from the hills surrounding Daglan and winding up in the lavoir. From there it flows into a small stream, and then rushes on to the Céou River, a tributary of the mighty Dordogne.
In any case, here’s the source of all that rushing water noise:
To be fair, one regular source of noise that’s fairly close to our house is the village church. The church bells ring out the hour (five rings for 5 o’clock — a.m. or p.m. — and so forth), with one “ding” on each half hour. As well, the bells ring crazily at 7 a.m., noon and 7 p.m., calling the faithful to prayer; that’s called the angelus or angelus bell. Funnily enough, my wife Jan and I are so used to the sound of the bells that we hardly notice them.
As I said, it’s a pretty quiet village.