So here is a bit about me. I am currently living in a rural college town. Yes, they do build Universities in the sticks. I have always been a west coaster although now I am closer to the mountains than the sea.
Growing up, the trees and rivers surrounded us. It was like a fairy tale to me. The mossy trunks, the ferns so delicate, the spunky (and funky) skunk cabbage all added to the elfish quality of the surroundings. And the fog… I loved it. I could walk into the fog forever. It was a blanket of mist surrounding me and shielding me. Now, I understand that on the road fog is dangerous but then it was a wonderful cocoon. I loved it.
My college dorm room was located right next to the elevator. As in, the elevator shaft was closed in and that enclosure was in my room. It was an old building too. The oldest on campus. I didn’t really mind too much. Once I got used to it I began to predict who it was coming and going based on what time of day it was. In some cases I would expect people and be ready at the elevator door and my predictions were usually pretty accurate. The rumble of the cables became familiar and comforting. Who was coming up? A guest? A friend? It always gave me a sense of expectancy.
When I rented my first apartment fog horns would blast outside my bedroom window. My apartment overlooked the mouth of the Columbia and it was wonderful to see the water traffic going too and fro. Another bit of magic and wonder to me. I still love that sound coupled with the watery scent of the docks.
Nowadays I associate the blare of a fog horn to with the whistle of a train. The train runs through my town and is required to blow the horn at certain points. I have often been in that bleary state between sleeping and waking and mistaken my location because they sounded alike to me.
The soft earthy pine smell of the mountains replaces the damp earthy smell of the woods. There are no rumbling elevators in my house now. But I can still hear the train whistle across town. I suspect if I lived in South Africa I would associate the trumpet of and elephant with both the fog horn and the train!
So it is with me. I am home where I am.