Here in Victoria, one of the more curious Christmas traditions has got to be the annual truck parade. The local trucking industry gets together and has a parade of festively decorated trucks crawl along one of the main roads out of town to one of the suburbs where they are part of a charity event. Along the way, the drivers keep up an incessant honking of horns, mostly of the basso profundo variety, punctuated by the odd siren or two.
Tonight, my after dinner walk started with a close encounter with a raccoon, who quickly shimmied up a tree to stare at me eye to eye. Interspecies communication is perplexing sometimes, as it was tonight, so I rambled on. Soon enough the silence was broken by the distant cacophony of the trucks. The noise the horns produce can be described as charmingly obnoxious, kind of annoying but at the same time endearing, in a folksy kind of way.
Like most of the northern hemisphere we are experiencing cold weather but tonight the clear skies more than made up for the frosty temperature. The night sky was absolutely stunning, considering that the hill rests at the edge of a modestly sized provincial capitol. Tonight the stars shone bright against the void, only slightly dimmed by a not quite quarter moon and the carpet of lights that defines the urban environment. Hilltop views at night are awesome wherever you are. Here on the edge of the Pacific Ocean we also have the benefit of having some of the cleanest air on the planet, which adds to the overall experience. I digress.
So I was at one of my favourite vantage points, staring out past the lights of the city, looking over the horizon to people I care about and places I love and places I’ve never seen, looking up at the sky at a swirl of starlight and I pondered the antiquity of each twinkle. All the while the truck drivers pounded their horns, blasting random bursts of sonic energy or leaning on a note like a tightfisted preacher.
It was sort of annoying and distracting but I tried to let it roll through me and over me. I looked into the archive of creation, the distant stars and galaxies and whatever lies beyond and the honking of the horns prompted me to understand that all those distant lights from long ago must have been accompanied by epic noise. Those tiny lights all represent enormous explosions of energy and matter and somewhere those sounds still reverberate. At that moment I was able to transcend my annoyance with the intrusion of honking horns by using them as proxies for the symphony that accompanied the creation of those distant lights. For a moment, a brief moment, I heard the music of the spheres.