I was sitting outside on the porch this morning eating my milk & cereal when out of the silence I heard a cow lowing…or it might have been a wolf howling…I really don’t know…. in Los Angeles many, many years ago, I was hiking in the hills with a friend & we came upon a coyote not more than 20 feet away from us…the coyote stared at us & we stared at the coyote…& I guess it was a lazy day, because then we all 3 nonchalantly went our own ways…. so besides visits to countless zoos, that’s about as close to wildlife as I’ve ever been…unless feeding feral cats counts for something…. so any kind of animal I see or hear out here in the middle of nowhere has a kind of foreign mystique to it…in the truck we cruise by fields of farm animals & I’m pointin’ out the window sayin’ “ooh sheep!” or “ooh cows” or “ooh a horse” & the driver’s not paying me any mind because she passes by them every day…& armadillos crossing the road are no big deal to her, while I whine that I have not even seen my first one yet…. it’s baffling to me how Nature can be so taken for granted by those who see it every day…& yet I’m all fired up about seein’ a goat…but I suppose that if I were driving Texas around LA or Sacramento, she might be exclaiming, “ooh, look at that building” or “ooh, look at those street lights” or maybe she’d even be razzle-dazzled by that ugly stretch of Highway 50…. & sounds, sh*t…horns honkin’; street folks talkin’ to themselves; leaf blowers, deafening, scattering debris & dust from one side of the road to the other…. anyway, back to the porch this morning…sharing my Cheerios with Chloe the puppy…I got to thinkin’ (there ain’t a whole lotta other stuff to do out here besides thinkin’) about how anesthetized to noise I’ve become in the last 15 years & out of touch with the peace that natural things can bring…when I was younger, I used to LISTEN to silence & cherish it like a precious gem…& the sounds that I liked to hear come out of the silence were ocean waves & gulls, barking sea lions, cats purring, the bittersweet coo of mourning doves, the gentle crackly sound of deer hooves on pine needles, the eerie early morning conversation of Canadian geese flying overhead, chirruping crickets…. now here in the Outback, I am trying again to listen for what comes out of the silence (besides my own disturbing, distracting, dark thoughts) be it a cow lowing (whatever “lowing” really is) or a wolf howling, a heart beating, a cricket singing or god talking & finally getting my attention….
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