“Study after study has reached the hardly earth-shattering conclusion that we largely prefer the sounds of nature to those of machines.”
A story in The Atlantic investigates the insidious intrusions of sound into our Earthly environment. My son-in-law-to-be, a federally employed acoustic engineer, found flaws in their assessment of the government’s involvement (the government is not “out of the noise business”), but not in the scope of the noise pollution problem. I didn’t realize that growing numbers of people seek relief through white-noise machines to drown out the nerve-shattering cacophony. Unsurprisingly, studies have found increased stress-levels in other species exposed to noxious noise as well. Birds, the article says, get screechier in their calls in order to compete with the din. This is not just a human problem.
In my backyard I imagine it’s quiet until I stop to listen – car and air traffic, construction, sirens, and sometimes the droning whir of the processing plant across the river. Occasionally I seek sonic refuge down in a gully where Reeds Brook gurgles toward the Penobscot River. Thick leaf cover, rushing water, and high, treed banks muffle the manufactured mayhem above. I sit surrounded by nature’s soundtrack, audible here in this tiny haven.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 52: 201 words, TOTAL = 7828; 52,172 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.