An amazing thing happened on my morning walk. Five minutes into my walk I realized that I could not hear any noises made by human beings. No trains rumbling in the distance, no car tires on pavement whisking the occupants to work, no squeal of school bus brakes or thundering school bus diesel engines. No roofers hammering on new shingles, no road resurfacing noises, no sounds of airplanes overhead. Suddenly, the only human-created sounds were those of my footsteps on the asphalt roadbed, and the clinking of Charley’s collar tags as I stopped to breathe in and wonder at the sudden quiet.
What came alive in my ears was the sound of birds. The neighborhood trees must hold hundreds of them, unseen under the canopy of summer-green leaves. Crows’ raspy caws, the chittering of chickadees, cowbirds’ laughter, cardinals’ chatter, and dozens of other chirps, cheeps and twitterings that I don’t recognize, punctuated by the shrills of the hawks I see circling the thermals. And under the bird chorus, a subtle alto line of leaves gently rustled by cool morning air joining in.
I stood on the curb in silence, amazed at, grateful for, this moment. There on my traffic-bound neighborhood connector street, during morning rush-hour, in the largest city in the state, is this gift of quiet, quiet that allows the wonders of the unseen and unheard world to manifest, only for my ears, my own private morning miracle.