The Sound of Music

    by Tammy Beals

    My morning would start with a serenade of birds singing, a rooster crowing, dogs barking and, in the summertime, the hum of the box fan sitting in the door of my bedroom. Since we had no air conditioner and I had the bedroom at the end of the hall, it was the prime location to pull air in from the outside. I really hated crawling over that fan when I was a kid, but it has come to be yet another memory that makes me smile.

    The roll-out windows were always open and even if there was a thunderstorm there was no need to close them. The sound of rain and thunder were a bonus and usually meant the air was cooler. It was made even more pleasant if the yard had been freshly mowed and that scent mingled with the smell of the rain.

    We had a pond not far from the house and when evening rolled in, we were treated to a whole new set of sounds. One of my favorites was the abundant number of bull frogs that started their evening concert at dusk. Another was the Whippoorwill (that’s a bird) that has a very distinctive cry. In fact, Hank Williams mentioned it in one of his songs…  (Bonus points if you can tell me the name of that song!)

    When it was time to retire for the evening, I would often ask if I could pick out a stack of LP’s and put them on the record player to play when we went to bed. We were a music loving family, but I was the one who sang practically all the time and got scolded several times by my Grandma Beals for singing at the table. Another time, my mother put a microphone under the bathroom door to try to record me singing in the tub. 

    Music is defined by Webster as being the art of arranging sounds into meaningful patterns involving pitch, harmony, and rhythm. I have found that I experience “music” in a wide variety of ways through nature. Have you ever thought about the purring of a kitten, the gentle breeze on your face when you drive with your windows down or a baby calf learning to bawl as being a sound of music? What about whimpering puppies, the screaming of an eagle or the puttering of an outboard motor on a boat? Listening to a bubbling brook as it splashes over rocks, the hum of a tractor or the rustle of leaves in the fall?

    Take a moment to listen for the music in your everyday routine and you may be surprised by what you hear!


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