There's clanging, beeping and thudding. There are reverberating bangs and thumps felt through the ground. It's loud. The noises aren't always consistent, sometimes they're an unexpected shock like bashing on cymbals for dramatic effect, or setting off a cannon. It's unpleasant to wake up to, but we know that it's temporary. We know that we will be able to sleep in later on the weekend when the crew is off. We know that when the job is completed, we can wake peacefully each morning.
I imagine what the clamor must be like for local wildlife. They don't have the knowledge that it's temporary, or that the workday day ends at 3:30 p.m. so there will be some quiet time each day to exist in peace and raise their young.
The squirrels, chipmunks and birds don't know what the excavation is about, and why it's being done. They don't know we're putting in a new water pipe for our community. All they know is that their habitat is being changed and disrupted. Their foraging area is being dug up, their carefully excavated dens are being destroyed, and their young are being disturbed by frightening noises. If I think the thuds and clangs of the metal buckets against rocks are loud and reverberating, what must it feel like to them? Like an ongoing series of earthquakes down in their ground burrows? How many insects have had their homes and offspring destroyed? How many breeding efforts this year have been affected?
The situation reminds me of the children's story Farewell to Shady Glade by Bill Peet, where the animals band together because of habitat destruction and move to a new location. His sentiments in this children's book moved me when I read it to my kids. Now, it's haunting.
I just can't stop thinking about how frightening and disruptive this must be for all the wildlife, especially seeing as they don't have the knowledge that I do. The fear and alarm must be all-consuming. I wish I could tell them, let them know it's going to go away. That it will be okay in the end.
But will it?