Me and Mari

┬áPeople often tell others to “stop and smell the roses”… But what about the sounds of nature? Too often we hustle and bustle from one place to another, never stopping to appreciate nature’s beauty and all it offers for our senses.

As I was sitting with Mari one day, I decided to pay attention to the sounds of nature. Of course, since Mari isn’t located in the middle of a forest, I also listened to the sounds of mankind.

At first, it’s fairly quiet. The wind flows through Mari’s leaves and those of the surrounding foliage, which creates a peaceful rustling sound. Soon after though, a car passes by on West Louther. The purr of the engine gets louder as it gets closer and quickly peaks and then quiets until I can no longer hear it. When classes let out, I hear the busy footsteps of students running to their next class and the chit-chatter between friends about how they did on their exams, what they did over the weekend, and the countdown to Fall Pause. A squirrel runs past in the grass, its footsteps inaudible, but making a little rustling as he runs through the tall grass. A garbage truck comes by to pick up the waste from the Quarry. The steady beeping meaning it’s in reverse overpower the sound of the wind brushing my arms and Mari’s branches. Once the truck finishes making a commotion (picking up the dumpster, emptying it, putting it back down…), it revs its engine and drives down the road. I try to focus back on nature. The breeze is soft and makes only the faintest sound as the last few students rush to class, running, pounding their feet on the ground so as not to be late. The items in their backpacks slosh around as they run up and down. And soon, it’s just me and nature again. The wind carries fallen leaves around me and I realize all I can hear now is the sounds of the breeze and of my breath, and if I really focus, I can even hear my heart beating.

Spending this quiet time with Mari, simply observing the world’s music, was calming and interesting. I never really take the time to listen to the world around me, so it was nice to take a break and do so. The contrast between the quietness of nature and the loudness of the man-made fascinated me, and I realized that humans were somewhere in the middle. We are a part of nature and we can be soft, but too often we are more like the garbage truck, causing commotion and not taking the time to stop and be quiet.

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