Where’s that mystery music?

It wasn’t that many nights ago that, waking some time between 2 and 3, I grew vaguely aware of music playing. Was it possible a neighbor or her children were partying at such a late hour?

Awake now, I got up – stepping carefully over the sleeping dogs – and crossed to the window. There I listened more attentively.

Silence. Not even the night murmurs of the geese. Too late for the frogs and too early for the first birds. Silence.

I couldn’t hear it either now. Though low in volume, when it had been there, certainly it could have been anything from the wind to . . . well, perhaps to my imagination.

But how strange to arise in the middle of the night to hear just the faintest hint of music. Unrecognizable as to tune. Quite unrecognizable in fact if music itself. But if not, what?

Yesterday I thought of it again and decided, if the sound should return (and I be far enough awake), that I would check it out in front of the garage. Facing the street and the houses around me, that certainly had to be the best place to hear in all inhabited directions.

This strange occurrence reminded me of a time many years ago when the late night skies were also filled with music. Only that time it was much louder and there was no question what it was. Determining its origin took very little longer. The who remains a mystery but somebody was camping in the fields across the lake. I could see moving lights a little, perhaps a campfire, and hear voices, especially laughter, as well as their music.

Could another unknown camper be the source of this mystery? It was possible of course but seemed rather improbable for would I hear the music – if music it was – over so many consecutive nights? Or, conversely, wouldn’t the music be more constant? If not there every night, might it not at least last more than moments?

Was it even music at all? For, you see, it – if indeed there was an “it” – was so soft as to be just one step away from being indiscernible at all.

Ghosts? I decided not – only why did I hear it only at such strange moments?

Still, the days passed, ever so quickly as days tend to do now, and any question raised was as quickly forgotten. It wasn’t really that important.

Then this morning – that music again!

In broad daylight this time so hardly a dream. Why hadn’t I heard it 10 minutes earlier?

Not all questions have answers but this at least had a solution – the bedroom radio!

Sure enough, touching only the volume control, I turned the knob – music! The same music I’d just been hearing.

Best guess? Instead of turning off the set alarm, the switch had been moved to radio with the volume also “off.”


Susan Crossett has lived outside Cassadaga for more than 20 years. A lifetime of writing led to these columns as well as two novels. “Her Reason for Being” was published in 2008 with “Love in Three Acts” released in June. Copies are available at Papaya Arts on the Boardwalk in Dunkirk and the Cassadaga ShurFine. Information on all the Musings, the books and the author can be found at Susancrossett.com.