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Posts Tagged ‘Earth magic’

Here in the depths of Armorica, I can usually hear no manmade sound; no cars, no overhead planes. But this morning, one sound carried through the forest – bells, ringing out from a distant village.

I stop to listen… The bells sing in antiphony with the forest, deep golden notes answer the silvery arpeggios of song birds and the mellifluous amber hum of bees. They sing a timeless song of the sacred, bells and birds and bees.

There are bells in the city too…of course! And birds and even bees. But how often do people stop to listen to their song? How easy is it to hear above the constant background din?
On the rare occasions that a human is brave enough to venture here (‘Danger Dragons’ sign on the gate is there for a reason…), one of the first things that they comment on is how quiet it is here. Quiet?! It’s not quiet. Even in the depths of midwinter, on the coldest, bleakest of nights, there are owls calling to the shadows, the blood-curdling cry of a vixen, the answering bark of her mate… and there are sounds I’ve heard nowhere else, unearthly cries like banshees keening over the corpse of summer past.

But I know what people mean when they say that it’s quiet. Something is missing. Something that is so ubiquitous, that for most people, even living in the countryside, it has become a sound that they filter out of their consciousness – A constant low level hum, like white noise. Distant traffic, invisible planes, power lines… It’s probably there now, behind the surface sounds of your life, but it’s only when it’s not there that you realise that maybe life on Earth didn’t always sound like that.

In the years that I lived in central London, I didn’t notice it. How could I? There was never any moment when I wasn’t bombarded by a cacophany. Humans are adaptable. I adapted. I slept through car alarms, police sirens… Yet now, I find even a small town overwhelming. But I hear things now that once I wouldn’t have noticed; the unusual song of a migrant bird, the sound of rain approaching across the forest, the footfall of a deer, the grunt of a boar in the undergrowth, the change in the alarm calls of birds as a danger approaches and recedes.

The same is true with smells. I take a visitor into the forest. Fox! The scent of fox is overpowering. A little further on, a pole cat has marked his territory. A subtle hint of wild rose, the rich loamy tang of mushrooms… My visitor with a nose accustomed to petrol fumes, curry houses, antiseptic cleaning products, human chemical perfumes, smells nothing.

I stop to listen to the bells, ringing out as they have done for over a millenium, my ears hearing the same music as the ears of the monks who lived here 700 years ago.

I listen to the deep silence behind their song, the same deep silence as ears heard long before the monks arrived, long before humans arrived…The veil of time dissolves.

I lie down in the long grass, one ear to the ground, and listen. Above, the forest sings on. Below, I hear another song – a creaking, sighing, whispering song; invisible life beneath the soil, moving, growing; I hear the Earth breathing, hear her heartbeat. Above and below, inside and outside, forest, bells, Earth and me…What a beautiful song Mother Earth sings when you listen.

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