Most of us . . . almost all of us . . . live close to nature. We may live in places that have intruded on nature, pushed most of it away. But it’s still there, unless you live in central Manhattan. In fact, it’s intruded on us as we’ve intruded on it.
If you don’t live close enough, go there. If you are close enough – and I am, living in suburban Ohio, even though you might not say so if you saw my house – go outside. Turn off your lights. Sit comfortably. Shut up. And listen.
Pretend you’re a conductor listening to his orchestra while he conducts. Picking out every voice, thinking, adjusting, gesturing for what he wants to hear. But don’t be the conductor, be the listener. Hear everything.
The crickets cricking. Cars passing, semis whooshing on a nearby highway, the snarl of motorcycles racing idiotically a mile away. The glurp glurp glurp of frogs. Your world. Listen.
We think with our eyes, and blind our ears. Our judgements are visual, our filters are audio. We can hold up a conversation in a noisy bar, but a flash of motion draws our eyes. Use that. Listen.
And smell. Listening helps us bypass the dominance of our eyes, smelling goes direct to our old brain. Light a fire, if you can. Play with it, and get your clothes all stinky with woodsmoke. Smell.
Listen. And smell. Taste, and touch. Close your eyes, and settle down into yourself.