Saturday, September 20, 2008

tipping point

I've never heard this sound before.

Sitting on a bench facing a mangrove of algae-covered water, coated green, more than 50 ducks are pecking at the water's surface. I close my eyes and listen. Almost like heavy raindrops falling in a pond.

A woman walks by, glances at the carpeted water and mutters, "disgusting."

How differently we see it. I find it beautiful, here in the center of a city yet feeling as remote as last week's vacation on the Cape.

If there were just one duck pecking for food, I'd never hear it. But multiplied by 50, it's almost deafening against the backdrop of train horns and interstate traffic.

When is that tipping point of sound, the shift from silence to cover-your-ears loud? At what point do I take notice? What am I missing that's right before me if I would only stop to listen?

No comments: