Beginning….to listen to the earth!

My walk this morning was magical. There is only one thing that disappointed me and that was the fact that I didn’t take pictures of all the sounds I was aware of as I was walking. And so, I will make every attempt to paint the picture (with audio of course) for you!

As I’ve written before, the area where I walk is part of a Tennessee State Park. About three miles from where I live, the park is down a windy, tree-lined road and across a river. My drive is always serene and comforting – lots of trees, few cars, and beautiful homes set back from the road. Even the speed limit forces me to slow down and reflect, taking me from 45 miles per hour down to 25 once I’m on park property and then to 15 inside the actual park.

I’m parking the car further away from Duck Island every few days so that I increase my walking distance. Today, I started my walk next to the lake like always, but this area is a little closer to the water.  So, have you heard the splashes when fish jump out of the water? It was amazing. With each flop, a circle forms on the top of the lake. All over there were circles of every size. It was like watching a disorganized presentation of the Olympic rings! Even with the sound of a train chugging it’s way through the woods, I could hear when the fish would hit the water!

As I reached the island to make my way around, I could hear the geese in the distance. The honking is so funny to me because the noise they make sounds like the word we use to describe it…HONK! And by the way, geese have no care as to where they poop…..just sayin’! I wish they would keep it in the grass, but unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. They don’t care if they relieve themselves on the path!

Walking up the slope and into a more woodsy area, I started to hear the sound of my boots hitting the dead leaves on the ground. The crunching of the leaves is like a cross between a rustling and a crackling sound. Along with that, I could hear and see squirrels and chipmunks running through the same terrain I was walking on. Every so often, I would hear acorns hitting the ground. Combine this with the sound of the geese, the many different kinds of birds, including a fiercely loud crow, and I found myself thinking….my God, it’s actually…well, NOISY out here! In this beautiful place, the loudest noise wasn’t traffic or machines or phones….it was Mother Nature making her voice heard!

I’ve never really considered myself a “deep thinker”, but this morning, I tried to hear every sound and appreciate it. I think I’m trying to condition myself for my Camino walk and recognize that if I only listen to the sounds in my own head….it will be one hell of a long walk! Listening to everything around me is something I need to do so I’m practicing now!! Hope you take some time to listen to earth now and then…it’s quite refreshing! 🙂

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