Friday, September 19, 2014

The Sounds are Drowning

 Airplanes, motorcycles, machinery and urbanization--the blessings of living in the modern age provide us with many opportunities and resources no generation before us has been privileged to. There are some resources, however, that are dwindling. As society progresses toward a more universal modernity, the sounds of the natural world are drowning in the industrial, suburban noise which dominates our lives.

Have you ever heard the trill of the nightingale, the howl of the coyote and the still, peaceful ripples of the stream? For me, it is sounds such as these which draw me to visit National Parks across the country. In the whistling of the wind through the aspen trees and all natural sounds, I find a restorative experience—one which many have come to expect.

I recently found myself at the Grand Staircase National Monument near Escalante, Utah. The desert wilderness was filled with the chirping of crickets, day and night, hawk calls, and beaver churrs. As I began to become immersed in the serenity of the soundscape, or environment of sounds, the rumbling of jet engines echoed through the canyon.

All too often, we find ourselves encountering such noise. It disrupts our experience of the wild, and pulls us back to the doldrums of everyday life we had intended to leave behind. The soundscapes of National Parks are a vital component to a healthy, relaxing experience for us and the generations to come after us.

Help support the cause of wildlife sounds. Like us on Facebook here or visit the National Parks Service website for ideas on how to get involved.

"All of nature begins to whisper its secrets to us through its sounds. Sounds that were previously incomprehensible to our soul now become the meaningful language of nature."

-Rudolf Steiner