Deep listening, both within and without ourselves, is easy to overlook given how busy we’ve become. What might we learn by pausing to take in the world with more intention? Bird conversations, insect commotions and living vibrations are revealed as we slow down, reset, and focus. What stories do these sounds tell us about the abundance of life and rhythms of the world around us?
Teaching children, we often stop in the forest to make “deer ears” by cupping our hands around our ears, listening with greater attention. This year, PRNSA has begun collaborating with filmmaker, CA Naturalist and nature recordist Mark Lipman on an exciting new soundscape mapping project in Point Reyes. As a first installment, Mark has given us the gift of virtual deer ears by creating a high-quality, immersive recording of forest sounds at Muddy Hollow. I encourage you to find a quiet moment to enjoy Mark’s recording. Close your eyes and feel yourself become part of the tapestry of life in Point Reyes National Seashore.
As we welcome a new year, let us all resolve to pause often and listen more carefully to our surroundings, more thoughtfully to one another, and more openly to how we feel, then ask ourselves “Who am I in this landscape of sound? What is my role in this living chorus?” By listening deeply, we celebrate the plants, animals, and people with whom we share the Earth.