I Wonder What You Hear

Submitted by puxapuak on Fri, 03/27/2020 - 18:17

What do you hear, right now? Outside? Has your soundscape changed these past few weeks?

I just had this moment on the balcony... I stepped out there because it's a beautiful warm spring night, and up on the fourth floor at this time of year, the sun often warms the evening air further and it just feels good after a long winter to get outside again.

Anyways I was out there, and it struck me just how quiet the city had become. Here at 6PM on a Friday night, and I'm downtown near to the pubs and restaurants and places of activity... and there was barely a sound. The only one thing I could hear was the rattle of some rickety old air conditioning unit on a roof of a nearby building, and the quiet echo of someone's voice coming from somewhere further yet. That's it. The faintest hint of a few cars good be heard in the distance, but they were not more than a quiet wisp. Downtown.... on a Friday night at 6PM.

I sent a text describing that moment to a few of you, and you each responded so differently to that moment. And so I would really love to hear; How has your soundscape changed? Maybe it is the same? Maybe the people around you are behaving in different ways? Different times?

We live on a walking/cycling route and I hear more activity not less. 

On a typical day, I’ll see older folks walking dogs and the occasional parent with small kids, several bicycle commuters and a few joggers. In the early evenings, this’ll increase to a steady stream of all of the above. 

Lately, though, we’re seeing foot traffic that rivals the average summer weekend. If I open a window, I can hear dogs barking from across the river along the off-leash path, I can hear voices as couples and small family groups go for their daily walks at all hours. Sometimes, I hear music from joggers and cyclists without earphones. I hear the weird whirring of fat bike tires. 

This reminds of a grounding practice I’ve recently learned. You list to yourself 5 things you see, 4 things you hear, 3 things you feel, 2 things you smell, and 1 thing you taste. If anyone finds themselves feeling anxious or having other rough moments, they might wanna try it and see if it helps. 

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