Creaking

Back in the winter of 2012, it was the end of the day at Bath Spa University and it was starting to get dark. With no more classes that day, I met up with my friend Tülin and, knowing how fond I am of walking, she suggested that we have a walk. I’ve probably mentioned before, but it can’t be said often enough that Bath Spa University’s campus is really beautiful and an absolute delight to walk around. Not that we could see anything, since we walked into the wooded area and it was pitch black, but it was a nice atmosphere.
    I have to say I felt a little bad because, as much as I was enjoying myself, my friend was quite afraid of the dark, so, it wasn’t as fun for them as it was for me. We stopped to enjoy the scenery at one point, where we could see the lights from the nearby buildings twinkling on the lake, and, as we did so it was almost silent for a couple of seconds.
    A tree creaked.
    “What was that?” asked Tülin, grabbing my arm.
    “Oh, it was just a tree creaking,” I said. Clearly she wasn’t as used to being out in the woods at night as I was.
    “Huh? What’s that?”
    “I said it was just a tree creaking,” I replied, thinking I hadn’t spoken clearly enough.
    “Crea-king?” she repeated. It seems she had never even heard of the word before. So, I explained what it was and how it was only a very natural sound, and, I imagine, next time she hears it she’ll be able to identify it right away.
    But I found it quite interesting that she’d never come across this before. To me, the creaking of trees is a very common idea which I’ve been familiar with for as long as I can remember, but it just so happens that my friend had never encountered this concept before. And I suppose it must be quite easy to do; just think, there could be a really common thing that most people know about, and you’ve never even heard of it before! It could happen to you, it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone. The infinite variety of human experience is very exciting.

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