Saturday, April 30, 2022

We Bought a Farm: Auditory Observations from a Hammock

My daughter, Hannah, snapped this picture of me resting in my hammock. 

The following are the notes I logged in my brain during an hour of rest on my hammock:

A donkey (our neighbor's -- man can that thing get loud.)

Children giggling in our neighbor's yard. 

My own four children and two of their friends chattering inside the house and going in and out and in and out as they played. 

A goose hissing at a perceived threat. 

The splashing of a duck in our little duck pond. 

A rooster. Crowing.

Cluck. Cluck. Cluck. (Those are the chickens.)

Quack. Quack. Quack. (Ducks).

Honk. Honk. (Goose). 

At least four different types of birds squawking/singing/chirping. I actually thought: "I'd like to know which is which."

My umbrella getting hit by gusts of wind. 

Some sort of bug or frog or creature making a noise repeatedly that I was trying to memorize so I could try to figure out what it was later. But as I figured, it was erased from my memory moments after the noise stopped.

The wind. You can't hear the wind. Obviously. But I could hear the leaves moving. I could hear the side of my hammock flapping. I could hear the umbrella flapping. 

Dogs barking at neighboring farms. (I had put my own dogs inside the indoor kennel so they wouldn't find mischief while I was relaxing.)

* * * * *

I remember when my children first came back to the United States after spending their early years away from "normal USA." The first years of their life, as they could remember them, were on a military base in Turkey (Incirlik) and then on a 19x21 mile island in the middle of the Atlantic (Terceira Island in the Azores, Portugal). . 

As we sat inside my parents' house in Coconut Creek, Florida with my two little boys, toddler daughter, and new baby, I remember Elijah "Sidge" kept saying, "All I hear are cars and noise."

I had been trained that those noises were normal. I grew up in a trailer park on a six-lane road. Noise pollution seemed normal.

But it's not. 


What's normal is nature. Peace. Solitude. The Earth. Breathing. Being. 

I have been trying to take one hour each day to be completely unplugged and in nature. Not just working on the farm. But resting. Listening. Feeling.

The words that started this post are what I observed with only my ears in one hour.

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