Sounds from the Midwest
If only I could describe the sounds I am hearing on my walk tonight. At 7:50 p.m. on a rainy Wednesday night, I looked down at the rings of my activity tracker and realized I’d only walked 4,000 steps that day. I had just finished editing some blogs, and I thought I should probably get going because it had stopped raining.
It can be hard for me to lean into silence and stillness because I like to keep my mind busy. But that evening, I forced myself to go out, take a walk, and embrace stillness. I made the decision not to listen to a podcast or create any content while walking, but…here I am…stopped in the middle of my walk, talking into my phone’s notes because I have to share this amazing experience with you.
As I came out of my house, I felt the humidity hit immediately (a feeling any Missourian is familiar with). It can get humid very quickly here. I began my walk through the tree-lined road. The branches bend over to cover, shade, and protect the road. It always seems as if I am walking through a leaf-covered tunnel. I heard the water droplets trickling down from the top leaves all the way to the ground. On occasion, I would hear and then feel a giant plop on my forehead. As I continued my walk, I turned the corner of the street. I began to hear crickets and tree frogs with their gentle croaking and clicking. The evening sounds of the Midwest bring a smile to my face, even as I realize summer is coming to a close. Outdoor walks are about to become less common, so I take every opportunity to soak these in while I still can this year.
As I continued to walk on that Wednesday evening, my senses became more aware. I began to hear the birds chirping. Just past the horse stables, I heard the scrappy little dog barking and the two horses let out a welcoming winny as I walked by. Then, I am stopped in my tracks by the hooting of an owl. We’ve had owls in this area forever, but you don’t always hear them. To me, it’s a remarkable sound and, when you get to see them, it’s an exciting sight.
The air was crisp and clean. There was a freshness as the dust of summer had been washed off the mailboxes, houses, and cars by the rain. As I made the descent back to my house, the skies opened up to clear blue with puffy, white clouds. Approaching the pond, for the final phase of my walk, the crickets became louder and the locusts began to sing. The closer I got, the louder the sounds of the tree frogs became. The birds began to soar from branch to branch. Porch lights switched on, as it was now 8:15 p.m. I am so grateful I got up from my desk and made myself take that walk.
What I have learned: Stepping outside can change your mental state and bring you immense joy. There’s a lot of wisdom in the phrase, “Stop and smell the roses.”
Tania Farran is an educator, mom, business owner, and an author. Her blogs tell about balancing all of these things in life! Laugh or cry with her and maybe learn a thing or two.