Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sounds of Silence by Nannette Croce

Those who live with man made sounds all around them may long for the silence of nature, but nature is rarely silent. The sounds are merely drowned out by all the manufactured noise.

Thirty-odd years ago when I first moved to this ex-urb of Philadelphia, warm, moonless nights brought blackness beyond my window screen, but not silence. In spring it was the peepers, later in summer, the crickets. During August summer days the cicadas. Some nights a barking fox would tease my dog, starting up each time he quieted down. Then there were the owls, hooting the same rhythm over and over. In the mornings the two-toned cluck of a pheasant under the bush and, of course, the birds waking with the sun. In winter the rustling of a skunk or raccoon snuggling up against the house to keep warm.

These sounds haven’t disappeared, not all of them anyway, but most of them are lost under the constant swoosh of traffic on the nearby highway, sirens––police, fire, ambulance–-at all hours. Planes, trains, and automobiles. The new noises expand exponentially, but so gradually that we don’t even realize what is happening and forget the underlying sounds ever existed.

But sitting on my patio on summer nights, sometimes if I concentrate very hard, I hear them again. Not over the man-made noise but beneath it. These are the sounds that really matter. These are the sounds of life and new beginnings.

Unlike the newcomers, I know they are there, and I’m grateful for that knowing, because it makes me remember to listen.


Kathryn Magendie said...

I love that I can't hear traffic sounds here in our cove - right now I hear our chimes blowing in the wind, the birds, the squirrels, the other sounds except the tic'ing of my fingers on the keys-

Angie Ledbetter said...

Nice! Isn't it true of many beautiful sights and sounds...we have to look & listen carefully beneath the surface.

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