Last night as I was dropping off to sleep I heard the sound of a train approaching town. I listened as it whistled its way through town and then off into the distance. It was a calming and familiar sound. I enjoyed it, and then went to sleep.
Most of my life I have lived close enough to the railroad tracks to hear the trains that pass through at night. Their sounds have become a lullaby.
For a while I had a mobile home a few yards from the track. When the trains passed by, it was no gentle sound but a roar that shook the bed, but even so, you soon become accustomed to it, enjoy it even, and even sleep through it if you are already asleep.
For several years I lived far from the railroad, but close to the ocean. In those years, I was comforted by the mournful sound of the fog horn on foggy nights, and by the sounds of the crashing surf on clear ones.
Once when traveling, I checked into a motel late at night, and clerk apologized for having only one room left, adjacent to the highway and the sound of trucks. He was right. It sounded as if the trucks were coming right into the room. But as soon as I realized that I was not going to be crushed in my bed, I managed to sleep well, with a new and different rock-a-bye.
So trains and horns and trucks can become comforting sleep aids, but what do you folks who live far from tracks, highways, and ocean use for comfort sounds?