I've just come into the house after spending 20 minutes or so out on the back patio. It's cloudy out, cool, and recently rained. I wasn't out long before I started trying to identify the sounds I was hearing. I was especially interested in doing this, because we spent most of yesterday evening at a wedding and after-celebration that just seemed to get louder and louder as the evening wore on. I was really enjoying the quiet out back.
In the few minutes I sat there with my eyes closed, I heard the faint sounds of a train whistle (the nearest tracks are several miles away), an aircraft taking off from the nearby Eisenhower Airport, a very faint, low-frequency rumble from the direction of the airport that I never could identify (just above the threshold of hearing), an evening dove, a cardinal, the occasional shriek or noise of kids playing down the street, a dog barking far away, the occasional goldfish jumping at the surface of the backyard pond, quiet conversation of hikers or walkers on the path in the park just behind the house, once-in-a-while vehicle noise...but not loud, and my own breathing.
It is fascinating to me how many sounds one can pick out when in a quiet place and is intent upon listening. It's also a reminder to me that there are times to be in a noisy place, and there are also times to be in a quiet place...and to quiet one's mind and heart and understand what is surrounding me.
I don't know about you, but the older I get, the more I like to just sit and listen. Sit and meditate. Sit and think. Sit and be quiet. No phone. No TV. No music. Just quiet. Just me by myself. We have enough time in the day when we are busy with something else. We have constant bombardment of television, movies, music, and general noise...both environmental and otherwise. We need to rest our ears. We need to calm down our brains. We need to just be quiet for awhile.