The other day, I was watching a documentary about the exploration of the
by Lewis and Clark. Hard to believe that parts of northern Texas were included in the Louisiana Territory. Harder still to believe that the exploration of the Louisiana Territory didn't begin in Louisiana. Louisiana Territory
At one point in the film, I was taken by a sunrise shot of a small lake and the sound of one bird. Everything else was silent.
As I sat watching the TV, I became aware that I could hear the freeway a half mile away, the sound of the refrigerator, the air conditioner, a neighbor talking on her phone as she walked through the courtyard, and a helicopter flying around overhead. I realized that it had been a long time since I had experienced natural silence, the silence of the countryside without electricity or cars passing.
When I was a kid and we stayed at my grandparents’ farm, as darkness fell, I could hear neighbors talking on their porch a mile away. When we all went to bed, I could hear frogs at the creek, crickets in the yard, and coyotes in the hills. Natural sounds that weren’t jarring or unexpected.
Sometimes, in the far distance, there was the lonely whistle and rumble of a train.