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The Night We Silenced the Animals

a red brindle Spanish greyhound
Chip, the Galga (Spanish Greyhound)

Last night, July 4th, was the day after this little Galga's 5th birthday, and it was also the second night in a row of fireworks in our seaside neighborhood. Chip, the Galga, has to be drugged ahead of time to deal with it. She gets so upset she could hurt herself. She's a rescued hunting dog from Spain, and the sounds of fireworks terrorize her insides.

Each morning, I sit outside for 30 minutes to listen to the sounds of animals ending or beginning their days and feel the warm, humid air on my skin. Owls, several species of ducks and geese, too many bird calls to count, woodpeckers realizing they're trying to get breakfast from someone's metal gutter and moving on to an actual tree. Frogs, sometimes the belching sound of a gator, and the neverending chatter of the squirrels.

But this morning, after two nights of mock war, my meditation on sound was filled with sounds animals don't make. Between moments of haunting silence, I heard cars speeding, a train in the distance, sprinklers going on and off, air handlers going on and off, and sliding doors opening and closing. I could even hear a neighbor inside their house, coughing.

Human sounds.

I take my morning chorus of life for granted.

For the first time, I realized it could go away. Because for a moment it did.

I wondered: What do they think of us and what we've done to their homes and our Home?

What does your home sound like? Who do you live among? Do you even know?

I worry about what people have done to mindfulness. It has become "a valuable tool" to "maximize" and "optimize performance." It can make you better and make you more money because you can be more productive and less moved by what happens around you.

It's all true.

But what's more meaningful is that it can show you what your life is really like.



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