Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sounds of Silence

This is a delightful article from the LA Times yesterday, about the value of nature’s quiet, the moments many of us experience in the Parkway, when all we hear are the sounds of nature.

Nature’s quiet is so rare today, so precious in our urban environment, and so worth preserving, protecting, and strengthening.

A voice for silence

· One man, writes John Balzar, thinks quiet may be Earth's most endangered natural resource.
By John Balzar, Times Staff Writer

There are only seven or eight quiet places remaining in the United States.Fewer than 10. In the entire nation.

Barely more than half a dozen in all the parks, wilderness, refuges and "wild" spaces that we treasure.

Fewer all the time.

Quiet is going extinct.

These thoughts turn over in the mind as you explore one of these few quiet places left in North America, perhaps the quietest of them all. Your guide is a man who has given his career to listening and recording the pure sounds of nature — and searching for meaning in what they convey.

He has become one of the few Americans to raise his voice on behalf of the vanishing quiet.

Naturally, your purpose here is to inquire about the value of this timeless thing that is slipping away without … well, without alarm, without a sense of loss, without broad public discussion. But something else occurs along the way. When you enter the realm of quiet to ponder it, the quiet awakens in you a missing bond with the natural world. The quieter the surroundings, the more — and the better — you hear. The world around you expands into a three-dimensional place.


No need to strain. Just listen.That is the autumn sound of yellowed maple leaves falling from the tree and settling on the forest floor 50 feet away. It is a sound you've never consciously heard.

More to the point, it is a sound you didn't know you could hear.

It sounds faintly like nature giving itself a gentle round of applause.

Spiritual balm"QUIET is the think tank of the soul."

For the rest of the article:,0,7904747.story?coll=la-home-outdoors