Silence

It’s not easy to find silence in the modern world. If a quiet place is one where you can listen for fifteen minutes in daylight hours without hearing a human-created sound, there are no quiet places left in Europe. There are none east of the Mississippi River. And in the American West? Maybe twelve. One of these is in the temperate rainforest along the Hoh River in Olympic National Park.

In a forest like this a drop of rain may hit twenty times before it reaches the ground, and each impact—against a cedar bough, a vine-maple leaf, a snag—makes its own sound.

You can change the pitch of a stream by removing a stone. A stream tunes itself over time, tumbling the rocks into place.

Gordon Hempton

Silence Like Scouring Sand | Kathleen Dean Moore | Orion Magazine.

One of the things that keeps calling me back to the Blue Ridge Mountains is the sounds of silence like those mentioned in the Orion article above. I recall the first time we stayed up on Nettles Knob out of Valle Crucis. Standing at the upper reaches of a cove in on the north side of the knob in a gentle summer rain listening to the water trickling down under the rocks at my feet. Ferns and moss covering everything. More species of vegetation within sight than I had ever before seen…I was in awe.

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