Of What is Heard

What sounds lift your heart?

Merriam Webster defines sound as a particular auditory impression: tone; the sensation perceived by the sense of hearing; and the mechanical radiant energy that is transmitted by longitudinal pressure waves in a medium (such as air) and is the object cause of hearing.

But there’s an emotional component when sound heightens our sensitivity just when we seem to need it the most—perhaps out of the doldrums into enlightened wonder.

I experienced this response recently when I heard birdsong burst through the snowmelt here in Colorado. The diminishing winter still feels inordinately long to me, and one day, in the glory of morning sun, birdsong filled the airwaves in clear, melodic notes as I walked across a parking lot. Oh, joy! More symphonic than bells or stringed instruments, proclaimed the tiny voice boxes of singing birds!

That same day, cell phone to my ear, the breath of my month-old nursing grandbaby in the arms of my daughter, punctuated our conversation miles distant from each other. Those beautifully expressive newborn sighs and gulps nourished my spirit with the fundamental connection to new life.

And later that night, during the darkest hours of midnight, the whisper of light rain outside the window provided the gentlest gesture to finally close my eyes in sleep.

And of course, music, often called the universal language, can deliver happiness by way of releasing the chemical dopamine in our brains, which also helps to initiate the sensation of mood and memories. It is one of the most effective therapy tools in mid to late stage dementia patients.

Even baby corral are impacted by sound as the newly fertilized corral larvae are attracted to the “acoustic richness” of heathy reef environments to call home. In fact, scientists use “acoustic enrichment” which are underwater playbacks of reef sounds, to attract fishes and other organisms to restored reefs.

So what sounds fill you up?

Here’s to rediscovering the sounds of hope and wonder and joy amid the noisy commotion that sometimes mutes our paths.

Thanks for stopping by.