Day 28: A New Soundtrack

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Last year, I wrote a post inspired by Kate Messner’s book, 59 Reasons to Write. It was a lesson encouraging the writer to listen to the sounds surrounding them. I sat on my patio and listened. Then I wrote this post. Many new homes were being built in our neighborhood, construction sounds dominated. Heavy trucks rumbled by for a new road. Those were the sounds on that day.

Have the sounds changed in a year? Let’s find out, I close my eyes and listen to . . .

A muffled r-r-r-r in the distance, from traffic a mile away. The motorcycle revs its engine to sound like an angry wasp. A train blasts its horn as it passes through an intersection, since its quite distance it is more melodious than not.

Wind sounds in the trees reminds has me visualizing a wave coming to shore. Gently the water laps at your feet, building in intensity until the wave wants to topple me. The wind begins with a whisper, sliding through the evergreen trees, building in speed creates rustling, until it reaches a brisk crescendo. It drops and there is silence for a moment as it draws its breath to repeat. Wind chimes from patios tinkle as they are not in the thrust of the wind.

Chirps, cheeps, coo-coos, trills of birds fill the air. A conversation, not meant for me to understand, ensues. I lose the bird-speak as the wind builds in intensity, but when it dies down the chatter of the feathered friends has not lessened.

Sharp nails on metal cause me to open my eyes and search for the source. A robin has landed in the curved crook of the downspout. It gives me one exasperated chirp as if to say, “What are you doing here?” before taking flight.

The landscape of sounds have changed in a year. I prefer the sounds of nature surrounding me on my patio.


21 thoughts on “Day 28: A New Soundtrack

  1. Interesting way to notice differences. I’m glad the sounds of nature are once again present. We used to have our class create a sound map of the nature sounds they heard. It requires lots of focus.

  2. I love that you did this exercise again — it’s a nice one. I can almost feel how relaxed you were as you took in the sounds around you. I like the line when you compare the motorcycle to a hornet — so apt.

  3. mandyrobek says:

    I remember the original post and I would agree this post is much more fun. I love listening to the sounds of nature. My youngest had her window open over the weekend and the sounds of birds chirping is relaxing.

  4. I love doing this….today during a lunch time walk….I heard trees covered with ice clicking together. I stopped and just smiled. Thanks for this reminder. It is important to stop and take note.

  5. lindabaie says:

    Lovely changes to be grateful for! If you hadn’t done this, you would never had seen/heard that robin who may have had a headache later!

  6. I, too, have been enjoying the burgeoning sounds of spring in my backyard and on my walks. Since we’ve been filling the bird feeder and the bird bath there’s no end to the tweeting, squawking, and cooing going on out there. Pretty soon, though, the landscaper’s blowers will drown them out. I have come to really despise them. This would make an interesting format for any post comparing something from last year with the same thing this year. Great idea! Glad the construction sounds are over for you….peace at last!

  7. The sounds of nature – relaxing and comforting. This really is a great way to incorporate more than just the sense of sight into writing. So often the background noises become just that, background that we don’t really realize what is happening around us.

  8. Loved listening to your soundtrack via your words. I knew your post would be in my email and sure enough, when I opened my email, there you were luring me down the slippery slope or should I say the windy breeze?

  9. Judy C. says:

    This would be a good exercise to use when we are feeling anxious. I love the contrast from last year to this year. And, yes I too would prefer to sounds of nature to all the other distractions of noise.

  10. I have this written down as a suggestion from Kate’s book, too, so I had to read your post right away. I think the key is closing your eyes, so you just listen. Your words helped me not only hear the wind, but feel it, too.

  11. We all could do for a pause to just listen to the sounds around us. Thank you for reminding us of this. And your descriptions are lovely. I felt like I was there with you!

  12. This is wonderful on so many levels. The exercise, comparison, and the writing are exemplar. A beautiful picture of your porch. I’m glad nature has reclaimed its space.

  13. I love the way you referred to last year’s post and then posed the question. I will admit, I rushed ahead to the end to see if it had a happy ending, then I went back and enjoyed your language and the pictures it created in my head.😊

  14. Elsie, this is a great exercise to do! Writers often write with their eyes first and foremost. Adding just one more sense always improves the piece of writing, and sounds are always appealing to the reader. I loved the rich description of the wind and the bird conversations. Then, the surprise of the sound of nails on metal – I was not sure what it was and eager to find out – then, the robin, and a reminder that spring is finally here! I love his thoughtshot!

Thanks for taking time to comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.