“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir
What is your favorite sound? Is it laughter or music or singing? A loved one's voice, a guitar, an “I love you”, or something else?
Last April, I went for a walk and found a sound I didn’t know I love.
We were in North Carolina for a retreat near the small, charming town of Black Mountain. We stayed in a cottage in a pretty neighborhood called Cheshire tucked in at the bottom of the mountains.
Saturday afternoon was sunny, windy, and beautiful so I took a walk. The neighborhood, which is small and relatively new, was quiet except for a few people going into the coffee shop. I resisted the urge to follow them and kept walking.
Along one of the main streets was a small stream in a wooded area. The stream curved and wound through the trees, past mountain laurel shrubs, and under a little wooden bridge that connects two parts of the neighborhood. I stopped on the bridge and looked down at the water, dappled with sunlight filtering through the trees. As it rushed over the rocks below, it made a lovely sound, louder than I would have thought for such a shallow stream.
With the stream at my feet and the wind in the trees, I couldn’t hear much else. Since no one was around, pretty soon I was lost in thought, remembering how an old friend had encouraged me over lunch, what he had said, and how much we enjoyed seeing him.
A few minutes later, my thoughts came back to the present, my eyes still focused on the stream. It’s no wonder we’re drawn to the sound of water, is it? It’s easy to listen to, like a soundtrack of relaxation. When we slow down, it encourages our thoughts to wander like that little stream wanders through the woods.
Before turning to go, I recorded the sound so I could take it home with me. It’s playing right now, as a matter of fact, reminding me of those relaxing moments with beauty.
What sounds relax you? Do you listen to any recorded nature sounds? If so, what do you like to hear?
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