Illusive Quiet

Back in Connecticut I have often commented, with a degree of irrigation, that I cannot escape the sound of a motor. I venture out onto the deck and, it seems, I always here the sound of some type of engine. Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, snow blowers, chain saws, wood chippers, stump grinders. Every manner of mechanical apparatus is polluting the quiet. When I take a hike in the woods and stop at a ledge overlooking a pastoral valley, I would hear trucks, chainsaws or airplanes overhead. Irritating.

Yesterday morning I took dog for her morning walk. (A fellow once suggested that I referred to Sheba as “dog” or “animal” because I did not feel she was worthy of a definite article. I hardly use “animal” any more because some people that do not know me, get upset). We are currently in South Carolina. Well, when we went out the front door I was taken by the silence. I could only hear water cascading in the brook behind the house and a lone tree frog. I thought, what a delight. Then came the hum of a transformer, an air conditioner started and a car drove by. End of the magic, or was it?

The tinnitus that I experience reminds me that my hearing is not what it used to be. I should be grateful for every sound I hear. Even though the subtitles in the high range escape me these days. So, bring on the wood chippers and snow blowers as well as Mozart and Thiloneous Monk and don’t forget Johnny Cash. I am grateful for all sounds. After all, an eternity of silence is all too soon approaching.

Note: It is important to guard one’s precious hearing. Always wear ear protection in an area over 90 dB (you will know 90 dB because it is unmistakably loud, ear protection is in order before that point). Wear protection when mowing the lawn.

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