The leaves have all fallen to the ground and winter’s snow will soon take hold. We were spending one last weekend at our Catskill hide-away before closing it for the winter. As we prepared to leave, I decided to take some final photos and I stood quietly, listening to the mountains. At first, all I heard was silence . . . but a moment later . . . a symphony of sounds started to build to a surprising crescendo.
I heard a solitary bird singing its song. A moment later, more birds joined in with lyrics of their own. I listened even more carefully, and soon, I could hear the stream as it rumbled through the woods below. Furry, unseen creatures scurried through the dry leaves with a rustling echo. Just beyond the edge of the trees, the gait of a larger animal blended in with a new cadence. Acorns dropped to the ground adding a background rhythm to the melody. Finally, Canadian geese squawked as they took flight.
In the distance, a crow cawed in fast succession. He was laughing at me, “Caw, caw, caw, caw . . . . caw, caw, caw, caw . . . . caw, caw, caw, caw.” He said, “Silly girl, you thought the woods were silent. Your ears have been filled with noise for so long, you have become deaf to the sound of nature’s music. Can you no longer recognize a symphony when you hear it? You must learn to listen beyond the silence, so that you can hear the music in the mountains.”
Perhaps it was a parting gift, this chance to hear beyond the silence. The more that I listened, the more I heard. I realized how fortunate I was. I have found a place in this busy world where the music of the mountains can still be heard. It is an orchestra that has been playing for hundreds of thousands of years. Sadly, one day there may no longer be a place to hear it. So if you get the chance, before it’s too late, listen closely to the silence. Take a moment to appreciate nature’s harmony, and you will enjoy a symphony that many others can no longer hear.
http://www.theresadodaro.com Author of The Tin Box Trilogy