If you know me, you know how much I value quietness. Noise aggravates and heightens my senses, distracting me from being tuned to my inner pulse. Inversely, quietness is the calm that puts me in touch with my ‘whispering soul.’
At last, the sun was shining above me, coming out of its prolonged spring slumber. My mind buzzing, replaying the busy day at work. To the left of me, four lanes of cars zooming back and forth. A wash of numbing noise coloured my evening walk with my dog Winston. I was immersed in the hum until, “Pop!” I was startled when I heard an odd crackling noise. My senses sharpen as I fixate on finding this peculiar burst. To the left of me, traffic. Nothing noticeably different on the roadway. To my right, a large pine tree – its greenery rounded like a Hersey Kiss. I shuffle closer, determined to pinpoint this disruption. “Crack!” I hear it again. The sound resembles deck wood expanding in the heat after a heavy rainfall…or was it more like when you adjust your back during a good stretch? “What an odd noise” I thought to myself as I combed the pine tree for tiny creatures. A bird or squirrel possibly? I spot none. And by now, Winston would have chased them away with his barking. At this point, I am no longer aware of the numbing noise of my thoughts or the traffic. I’m fully committed to my investigation. I tuck myself in at the base of the first row of branches and look up. “Crack!” I cock my head and spot the culprit. A pine cone. A pine cone? My mind quickly sifts through everything I know about pine cones – they descend to top a fresh snowfall in the winter, but did they have a sound? I’ve never heard a pine cone speak before, but there I was, a peculiar observer standing underneath, mesmerized at the cones cracking open. I was awestruck and beamed with bliss. I had lived my whole life without ever hearing the bursting sound of pine cones in the spring. It was beautiful.
Tonight, my walk was coloured with a bright new noise. A noise that unlocked the childlike pleasure of wonder and discovery. My steps turned into a slight skip as I passed each pine tree and listened closely for more of this spring awakening.