Sitting on the fence at the end of the trail, it seems that all I can hear is the white noise that comes from the road. Although this commotion seems to be overpowering my initial feeling of being on a secluded path, when I listen closely I can hear the chirping of a bird. I listen more closely and hear the tweet of another, then the hoot of a morning dove, and eventually the white noise from the road fades into the background as I listen to their songs.
It is interesting how we tend to block out the beautiful sounds of nature and instead give our attention to the noise of the man-made world, when it is perfectly easy to focus on the simple songs of birds in a tree. When I am finally able to focus on the sounds I have grown to block out or not notice, I realize what I have been ignoring, and what I’ve been missing. Obviously the sounds of the birds are more pleasant than those of the road, but we forget to seek out these sounds. Imagine the way your day could perk up if you simply stopped for only five minutes to block out the bustle of man’s world and meditate on the sound of the Earth and animals around you. I know that my day would definitely improve tenfold.
The overwhelming noise that comes from the road represents how the pressure for us to remain in constant motion can drown out the simple pleasures that we often forget to stop for. So if you hear the twitter of a bird, try to pause your busy day and listen in for only a minute: you will realize what beauty the Earth has to offer as an alternative to the noisy lives we feel the need to take part of.
Already this class has led me to stop and think about my surroundings. From taking the in-class quiz to exploring a trail on campus that I had no idea about, I have learned so much about the environment: not only its physical characteristics but its context with the rest of the world, both past and present. What better education is there than that?