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  • I haven't lived in the rural Midwest in a long time, but it's still my home. It's funny for me to think that I spent the first 18 years of my life out here, and have spent the last 8 in the heart of New York City. I've gotten used to constant noise--the sirens, the traffic, the general cacophony of the city--that the quiet I encounter when I visit my childhood home can be quite jarring.

    But if you stop and sit still for a moment, it's not really silence at all. I often sit up at night just listening. There are crickets, cicadas, and other insects, coyotes, possums, woodchucks, raccoons, and other animals living their nocturnal lives. It's a natural symphony--as opposed to the manmade orchestra of the city--happening just outside the door.
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