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The Soundtracks of Our Lives

December 2020

By Ranger Amy

Hiking along the Island Trail with a family of three, we focus on using our sense of sight, touch, smell, and hearing to look for wildlife. When we reach the south side of the trail, the breeze from the lake ceases and the forest darkens as the sun begins to set. We stop and listen.

“What do you hear?”

“A speed boat!” the young girl says, and her brother adds in “bugs.”

We hear both, plus a boat in the distance and the loud chirp of crickets.

Moments like this and the sounds that go with them are what make the soundtracks of our lives. Each season brings new sensations, sights, and tastes, but they also have a unique chorus of sounds.

Sounds of the seasons

If we stop to listen, we can hear the changing of the seasons, sunrises and sunsets. These are the small moments that make up our lives.

I knew the moment fall begin. I stepped outside my house to call in my cats and heard it. A single acorn dropping on the tin roof of the barn next door. Soon there were more acorns, the soft rustle of leaves falling, and new bird songs in the air.

Rejoining the world

A ranger friend told me that after he got hearing aids, he felt like he rejoined the world. How many conversations went on without him knowing, how many bird songs did he miss during his daily walks?

Our sense of hearing is something we often take for granted. If I could go back to my teenage years and not play my music so loud I would, but there’s no going back.


Rather than thinking about the past, or focusing on the future, let’s sit and listen to the sounds around us. These sounds, both man-made and nature-made, are precious and add to the essence of our daily lives.

Sounds tell us where we are, and when we are. The sounds around us make up the soundtracks of our lives.

Shhh, what do you hear?