Hearing Nature’s Sounds
May 23, 2022
Pamela Musoke (she/her/hers), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer
How do you feel about nature sounds? I do wonder if there is anyone, on this beautiful blue globe, who hides away, preferring to shut them out. They miss something spectacular, in my opinion.
Nature sounds, as research suggests, have great benefits, not only for the human body, but for the human spirit, both emotionally and mentally. They are proven to reduce stress, and to heal and improve mood.
Take me for example. On stressful days, when all I want to do is lock myself away and throw away the key and stuff myself with an endless supply of chicken tenders and fries, taking nature walks does wonders to melt away my troubles. Sounds of rustling leaves, teased and played with as they bend and sway with the wind, can easily place me in a meditative state. At the risk of sounding like a fairytale, the sounds of a new day and the sight of blue skies have a way of helping me start the day in a fun and positive light! Night sounds, my favorite kind, make me feel as though a mystery is afoot, waiting to be discovered. They are why I enjoy writing late into the night.
Moreover, I would absolutely argue that nature sounds have played an integral part in our existence, saving our lives and our species in many ways. In my humble opinion, the likelihood of our prehistoric ancestors surviving without them . . . well, let’s just say you’d more likely get struck by lightning! I exaggerate, but we are truly here purely by chance! We have beaten the odds, saved by prehistoric humans, dependent on nature sounds, who learned how and when to duck and hide when danger was close, or to find water in dark and musty caves, or to successfully hunt and, finally, enjoy a bit of mammoth barbecue! Delicious!
Let’s sit for a moment longer and marvel! We are living proof of how learning the meaning behind nature sounds has ensured the longevity of our species. These, among other discoveries, have kept us alive long enough to enjoy our modern comforts.
And without a doubt, nature sounds have also played a key role in human advancement, by driving the imagination to create and innovate. These advancements have us standing at the top of the food chain, most of the time. Our relationship with nature sounds have taken on a whole new meaning, with us no longer needing them for survival. And this has me thinking, is it a good thing that technology has, for the most part, replaced the real thing?
Sure, it is advantageous to have nature sounds so readily accessible when most of us live in concrete jungles where man-made sounds dominate. But as we lose touch, not living in tune with Mother Earth and understanding her language, what will it mean for our own survival? We are assuming that technology will continue to advance and protect our futures, as we become wholly dependent on those sounds, myself included. And maybe that is true to some extent, though Mother Nature does have a way of humbling our species, showing us that nothing can beat the real thing!
I feel that our growing dependence on technology, even to emulate nature sounds, will inevitably impact our relationship with nature, and not always for the better. When our bonds continue to fade, we lose parts of our intuitive selves. I mean, imagine being thrown back into the Stone Age. Could you survive? I would not survive an hour, having devolved, unable to interpret important sounds that would otherwise keep me alive, only to die from eating the wrong thing! That’s a scary thought!
But enough with the doom and gloom . . .
On an innate level, learning from nature and how and why our natural neighbors respond or react to the world around them is helping me understand “the what.” And in this day and age, to stay grounded, to keep in tune and be respectful and compassionate of our world and our work, I need nature sounds to help me. My spirit feels nurtured, slowing me down enough to appreciate, as well as navigate and persevere, on my life’s journey. It has, in some way, become a part of my spiritual practice — I am reminded of who I am and how I fit in as part of this wonderful ecosystem, never above, but as a member of it, striving to live in harmony.
So, I challenge you…
If you can, find a spot far removed from a city center, where nature sounds dominate. Allow yourself to put your phone away, and let your mind and body take in the sounds of nature. Bring along a journal and record how you feel. What images come to mind? How do they change and morph, especially when your mind might be, at first, quite resistant?
I find that when my mind tends to wander to topics I am supposed to be avoiding, frustration is never far behind. I journal about these challenges and explore why my mind is unable to focus on the now and the wondrous nature that surrounds me. I will slowly steer the conversation towards what I see or hear, using my senses to capture how it all makes me feel.
I urge you to take your time and allow yourself to deprogram. The journey will be well worth it, and it is a reward that keeps on giving!
Pamela has a public health background. She enjoys reading, creative writing, and watching psychological thrillers and mysteries, with the occasional comedy.
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