Looking for Quiet? It’s Getting Harder to Find…Much less Hear!

Dear Reader:

Some of you might have seen the episode on the CBS Sunday Morning Show yesterday titled: Recording the Sounds of Nature’s Quietest Places. The entire segment was a wake-up call for all of us to realize that Earth is losing it’s “silence” due to man. It is almost impossible to find a site in our country where there is complete silence with only nature breaking the reverie.

The first place we were taken to is one I was not familiar with but would now like to add to my bucket’s list.

It is the Hoh Rain Forest situated in and around Washington State’s Olympic National Park. It was absolutely beautiful…a place where one could actually hear their own footsteps in this magnificent oasis of quiet.

Here is a short excerpt from this ‘awakening’ show on the loss of silence in our world.

Gordon Hempton, who calls himself the Sound Tracker, is an “acoustic ecologist” who has traveled the world recording the sounds of nature, from birdsong and rainfall to babbling brooks and the rustling of leaves. But the noise we humans make is making it harder to find those quiet places – and, he says, it’s having real consequences for wildlife as well. Bernie Krause, a musician and sound recordist, has become an audio anthropologist, documenting the sounds of nature. He also has noticed dramatic changes in some areas, such as in a Costa Rican rain forest. He helps correspondent Lee Cowan (and us) listen to the difference.

The National Parks are trying to collect data, also, and see what can be done about maintaining places for people to go to meditate, think, and just cocoon themselves in silence.

Unfortunately this urge is becoming more popular as millions flock to the parks for the same reason….silence…with the result being the opposite of the quiet they are seeking so desperately.

My special ‘quiet’ place is on the yellow bench under the tall pines looking backwards on my garden…listening to the fountain, the birds and bees, and watching the butterflies. I find myself automatically tuning out traffic horns blaring from Highway 17 or trucks and cars traveling too fast through the neighborhood.

Still, relatively speaking, it is as quiet as I can find where I live and I am very lucky to live in an overall quiet neighborhood.

I crave silence and time by myself each day…I can’t go a day without it, my “Me time with God”…if I do I can tell that my body is reacting negatively towards the over-abundance of too much stimuli. That is why I am always surprised when someone comments that too much silence makes them nervous and uncomfortable.

Is it perhaps because many of us are afraid to start peeling back the layers that make the physical composite of who we are in order to find the true essence of our real self? Like the popular program search for our ancestry and heritage-“Who Do You Think You Are“- are we afraid of finding the answer to this question?

How many of us remember our ‘first puppy love crush” in late childhood or perhaps early adolescence? These feelings of love were so powerful yet we were equally terrified of letting the other person know for fear of rejection and/or ridicule.

Is that why we fear quiet time with God? Is it still so hard to simply say “I love you God” and feel the love of God in all its amazing reciprocation? When we feel estranged from our Creator it is not on His end but ours…we haven’t gathered the courage to proclaim our love completely to Him.

So until tomorrow:

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Eva Cate and Jake came to hang with Boo for a little while yesterday – it was fun play and pizza night!


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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