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Sounds Of The Season

October 16, 2013
BY CHUCK CLEGG , Wetzel Chronicle

As I have grown older, I have begun to realize that each season has its own sounds. There sounds each of us can identify by just closing our eyes and listening to the invisible world that surrounds us. Mother Nature has given us the ability to hear and recognize many that are unique. Sounds often change with each passing month on the calendar and passing years of our lives.

Perhaps when we are young each of us are so busy in our daily life that we don't take time to listen to the sounds. In winter, the earth is asleep and resting, regenerating itself. Her many sounds are hidden in the cold world around us. Insects sleep below ground or hide in the dark places in the woods nearby. Have you ever stepped outside as snow falls from the sky? White snowflakes beyond the ability of man to count, fall, landing silently on the ones that fell a few moments before. Each snowflake seems to absorb sounds as it falls freely. Listen to the snow as it falls in the deep winter, it reminds us of the Simon and Garfunkel song, "Sound of Silence". The song reminds us to reflect on the world around us.

As spring returns, warmth from the sun begins to melt the frozen snow and warm the earth. We begin to once again hear sounds in the world around us. Winter's snows melt and fall as drops of water from the trees and roof tops. The sun grows in strength and more of winter's snow melts and returns to the earth. Listen and you can hear the sound as it falls to the ground. At first it slowly moves along toward small streams. Street curbs swell as it heads towards the storm drains. Quickly it disappears into the darkness below our feet with a splashing sound as it begins its journey towards the creeks and rivers.

Each day, song birds return from their southern winter homes. Announcing their return they begin to sing in the trees that now show the first green leaves in the spring air. Each passing day the variety of birds singing their songs of spring increases, until the air is filled with a symphony of sounds. The long quiet of the dark winter world is being replaced by the wonderful sounds of spring-sounds that make us smile as we take the time to listen to our world renew once again.

Growing up in the country, I spent a lot of time playing in the woods and along the creek near our home. That was before the endless rumbling of big trucks and loud car radios filled the air. When most of us were young the world seemed to be a much quieter place, or at least that is how I like to remember it.

As a child I enjoyed playing along the creek in the early mornings as the day awoke. The sound of water passing over rocks in the shallow riffle of the green creek made a soft gurgling sound. Over and around the green moss covered stones the water moved along on its way down stream heading for the river and eventually all the way to the ocean. When it arrived in the warm sea, the air and hot summer sun began to evaporate the blue water. Slowly and unseen it rose back into the blue skies where it became clouds passing silently over our world far below. I remember lying along the stream and watching the clouds passing overhead. I wondered what the world held for me. In the distance the summer clouds rumbled and turned dark, foretelling of a storm coming.

Without warning the summer clouds released the rains tumbling toward the earth. Holding out my arms, I turned my face toward the warm rain. The sounds it made on my face were muted when compared to the sound it made landing in the quickly forming puddles around me. In the nearby trees small green frogs began to sing, welcoming the rain. The world was filled with the sound of summer hidden in the rain.

As we enjoyed the hot summer sounds, we began to hear high in the trees the sounds of locust singing their songs of love. It is the sound of late summer and the season we all enjoy is quickly beginning to fade. After a time Katydids joined in the serenade of insect songs.

As evening grew shorter one more creature joined in the singing. Crickets began their unmistakable song in the darkness. As day light faded the locust and Katydids relinquished their singing to the lowly cricket. He seemed to enjoy cooler nights.

As fall comes, the insects have replaced the bird's sounds from the trees. Birds seem to be busily feeding and preparing themselves for the long trip south. Katydids sings of good-byes as Jack Frost touches leaves. Insect's songs will now fade. It is replaced by the rapidly changing color of leaves that rustle in the chilled fall breezes. Only the cricket who hides from the cold in cracks and crevices still sings his occasional song as evening comes.

We wake one morning and the puddle in the yard is frozen over, the cricket's song will not be heard again. The dry leaves in the trees have begun to fall and the rustling leaves are now lying on the ground. Cold rains soon dampen them, no longer will they make a sound as they lay waiting to decay and return into the earth. The late fall has come across our lands and silenced the outside world.

But, we begin to hear another sound, a sound of laughter and singing as families come together to enjoy each other\'s company once more. Holiday music hangings in the cool air along with cinnamon and pumpkin spices.

Best of all, the aroma of a holiday turkey for the Thanksgiving meal seems to beckon us all into the warmth of home.

People smile and laugh as the tinkling of bells can be heard in the world around us. It is a time we smile and enjoy because at this time of year we again remember, that family is the greatest sound of all. It rejoices our spirits and souls.

As we watch, winter moves across the land, blanketing it in snow and silence. In deep winter we sometimes feel emptiness of the world around us. The sounds of family have faded, crickets and Katydids are gone and no song came from the trees. But, it is at this time there is a sound Mother Nature wants us to hear once again, our heart beating, the sound that reminds us we are alive. She reminds us to relax and remember the important things in life. Before you know it the sound of spring returns once again as we listen Thru the Lens.

 
 

 

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