Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The sound of silence

Last Sunday was we were blessed with a beautiful day, with genuinely warm sunshine, and it was a pleasure to be in the garden - not spring but the hint of it. This warmth seemed to inspire the birds, particularly a robin that sang beautifully from the top of hedges and trees, presumably marking its territory and advertising its wares.

After a couple of hours almost uninterrupted song, I decided to try recording it. Inevitably the moment I got my recorder out it moved away, leaving me recording what I thought was silence. On listening back, I realised that far from silence, what I had was a soundscape of the garden on a windy day. In this extract you can hear the alarm call of a dunnock alerting others to my presence, nearby rooks chattering to each other, the wind in the trees, the neighbour's windchimes, my breathing, and even, far off, robin still singing. I realise that sometimes one has to find delight in these small things, even if the thing one is not hoping to see or hear does not happen as one hoped. If it were predictable, the joy would be diminished.

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