Maybe the question should be what are you listening to? So many people seem to be walking around these days wearing headphones (and Bluetooth headsets, which make them look like they’re candidates for the local padded room, wandering around talking to themselves, but that’s an entirely separate topic). This phenomenon does not appear to be purely generational – I’ve seen young and old alike, though the younger crowd does represent the majority.
Fortunately, few of them have their volume turned up to a point where outsiders can listen along. However, you do have to wonder if they can hear anything around them; you know, the car about to run them over and such. What are people trying to block out? Have we been under a barrage from so many information sources in our modern world that we must be constantly bombarding our senses?
I’m a great lover of music. It really can sooth the savagery of a difficult day; lift you to new heights; recall fond memories (or sad ones); and brighten just about any day. However, I don’t feel the need to have it piped into my senses all day every day.
There is a special music that comes from the land itself which can produce the same effect as your favorite tune. Whether it’s the hum of traffic or the squeak of a bicycle wheel, there is a cacophony of sounds available around us. No matter how bad your day may have gone, who doesn’t smile at the sound of a child’s laughter?
Nature supplies plenty of her own background music. The wind really does whistle and can blow a tune through the hollow pipes of a gate or guard rail. It can also rustle leaves on the ground and in the trees. Birds, engaged in conversation, can be as soothing as a whisper; though they can also be as annoying as an argument. Rushing water is one of my favorite sounds; waves lapping against the breakers or crashing on shore. I find it as comforting as any piece of my favorite music.
If you listen very closely, even the land emits a hum, reminding us there is life going on all around us. All these things are easily missed or overlooked if you’re constantly trying to block out the world. Try listening to the music of the land once in a while. You might be pleasantly surprised.