Today is World Listening Day. The talk on the radio is of 'acoustic ecology and of going on a 'sound walk.' We should care more about the way the world sounds. Those high powered hand driers in most public loos make a lot of people jittery apparently. Some people like the satisfying clunk of a car door, there's even a man who loves the sound of cars driving over cattle grids so much that he's made a CD called 'Cattle Grids of Dartmoor.'
On may way to the dentist I notice how I tune out the traffic sounds and only respond and look to the sky when I hear a shock of screaming swifts, a dozen swirling over my head. They'll leave soon. I'll miss that stop-me-in-my-tracks-sound.
In the dentist waiting room there's the ubiquitous and unwelcome radio, 'Sisters are Doing it for Themselves.' I suppose it masks the sinister buzz of a machine coming from surgery number 1.
I visited Cemlyn Bay Sandwich Tern colony on Anglesey last week with Dad. Now there's a sound to revel in. A real wilderness noise. I lay on pebbles made round by battering seas, closed my eyes and let the harsh 'kirrik' cries of a couple of thousand nesting birds pierce my ear drums.
'I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out 'til sundown, for going out, I found was really going in.' John Muir
I've seen the top of Everest (from a long way off), smelled the breath of a whale (from way too close) and lived on a boat in Greece (for a few years), but I continue to experience some of my most precious moments right outside my backdoor.
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