The Voice Of Silence

The first four lines of William Wordsworth's poem titled, “The World Is Too Much With Us," holds true even more today as we speed through our daily activities without a moment’s pause to see, listen, and appreciate the beauty of our environment. In the poem Wordsworth writes,

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in the nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
- W. Wordsworth (1770 - 1850)

Never has a truer word been spoken. It's about 12:30pm and I am sitting here in my living room, television volume turned down so low that I can barely hear it. I close my eyes for a brief moment and take a deep breath. As I exhale, I am amazed at the sound of my own breath; soft, whispery, whoosh that seems to go on forever.

As I open my eyes, I begin to notice and feel the silence. It is almost as if I am hearing it for the first time. I begin to realize that silence has its own unique sound, and that it actually speaks which makes me wonder why we do not pay attention to it. For a few minutes I hear nothing but my own breath, and then individually, other sounds begin to emerge from the silence. The beauty of these sounds is their unobtrusive nature, emerging as if in unity with the silence, here to tell me that they are one and are here, always have been.

Listening to all these sounds I realize its harmonious nature in my environment; the soft April wind, the flutter of my window blinds, the soft buzz from my refrigerator, the sound of the train stopping and departing the station, the thud-thud footsteps outside my door as my neighbors retire to their different apartments, the burst of laughter, the car horns, and the wheezy sound of cars driving by, each sound unique and distinct, not to be missed.

So why do we miss these beautiful sounds? Why do we ignore them? The sudden burst of the siren from an emergency vehicle as it rushes past either on its way to an incident or transporting someone to a hospital, gives me the clue.

We are too “busy!” Too "busy"to notice, too “busy” to see the beauty in our environment, too “busy” to hear the voices of our environment beckoning on us to stop, even for a moment, to listen and hear the melody that only nature can make.