I have many favorite sounds: the cry of a healthy baby, my sons singing Boys II Men’s “A Song for Mama,” the ka-ching of an old-fashioned cash register, the purr of any machine newly repaired, a dozen birds in symphony at my local preserve, the jazz jams at my house, ocean surf, a breeze through aspens.

But today, I’m loving the sound of my Mac mail: an airliner lifts off with every e-mail I send. And when I’m sending a piece that’s down to final proofreading, it sounds like heading out, to a wonderful adventure, or heading home, from the long journey.

I give incoming mail its own tones. This son gets a chime, that client gets a purr or a bubble blip. The rest of you slip in silently so you won’t disturb my concentration.

Before e-mail, you could drop your manuscript into the package slot with a satisfying thunk. There was the metallic twang of the drawer swinging back. But those sounded like the end, the dead drop, the long wait. This is elegant, and fast–a supersonic jet crossing the miles in seconds, awaiting the return flight.