Journeys: Thoughts from a Druid Path

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The Sound of the Forest


The Sound of the Forest

Sound is all around us. Depending upon where we live, those sounds may vary widely. For rural dwellers, the sounds will vary widely in quality than those of urban dwellers. For suburban dwellers, it will be somewhere in between.

Many of the sounds that we hear is our daily settings will classify as “noise.” Passing cars, trains, honking horns / claxons, and numerous other sounds that are directly a result of the industrial revolution. These sounds become so unremarkable that we tend to ignore them, and they just become part of the din or everyday life.

As I was running through the trails inside a local forest the other day, I noticed the lack of these sounds. I was far enough interior to the forest so that the road noises were absent. The wind was blowing and that is a sound that is so powerful for me. It was not blowing so hard that it was the only sound, but it in turn caused other sounds that were striking in their resonance and difference.

As I continued to run, I heard some of the trees creaking as the wind moved their branches. This deep, resonant sound hit not only my ears, but my body as well. I felt it in my body, as if my upper torso creaked along with the trees.

We hear other pleasant sounds during the day. We hear music, singing, and other various sounds that arise by or through some human agency. These sounds are appealing, but in a way that is different than the more random offerings that nature puts in our way.

There have been other occasions where, if the wind is exactly right, different sounds are produced by trees, reeds, even stones, as the winds blows through them and past them. These are the original woodwinds, named ever so appropriately. It is the wind blowing through wood that produces these sounds.

Contrary to an orchestrated symphony, these sounds are random, at least the subscribe to a rhythm that is neither measured nor repeatable, at least from ground level. For me, there is a physiological reaction to these natural sounds. They produce delta waves or some other method of bringing about a profound peace.

The other sounds found in the forest are also in human orchestras, or it would be more appropriate to say that they are found in the natural sounds of the forest, which was copied by human endeavor. These sounds are percussive in nature.

I first noticed these sounds during springtime, when the woodpeckers begin hammering the trees, creating a sound with a resonance found nowhere else in nature. Its staccato nature even echoes through the silent forest, using the receptive of the surrounding landscape.

There is no metal in the forest, therefore nothing rings like a bell. The call of geese overhead, is almost songlike, with the vocals followed by the percussive nature of flapping wings. There is a clarity in these sounds that touches me deeply. They touch you as well.

Finally, there is no sound like running water, whether it is tidal, trickling, rapids, or just moving. The gentler the flow, for me, the easier it is to surrender the sound. It carries me away to a place where I am floating, just like the sounds that brought me there.

These are not noises, these are sounds, natural ones, to be sure, but sacred sounds, if you listen with a discerning ear. Or perhaps if you just do not listen at all, and let them wash over you, like a gentle rain, Flow over you, like a shallow stream over a quiet pathway, like the sound of rain, as it moves slowly, like time suspended, from the trees that surround you.

Close your eyes and breath deep, breath in the sounds of the forest.

Beltaine/Samhain 2022




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Tagged in: adfdruidry Druidry RDNA
I am a long-time pagan and charter member of ADF, Ar nDraoicht Fein, a Druid Fellowship. I am a Senior Priest in as well as the Arch Druid of ADF. I am a Druid of the Third Order, RDNA; Druid Grade, OBOD; and a Second Degree Druid Companion in AODA. I love Druidry!  


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