How to be present in nature: listening

How to be Present in Nature Part VI: Listen

I find the simplest thing to do while being in nature is to listen. Typically, we’re walking the streets with our headphones on, exercising in the park while listening to music, or talking to someone on the phone — we’re preoccupied with keeping a sound barrier between us and the world. These days, I spend more time walking the streets without anything in my ears or my headphones are in with no sound playing.

By freeing my ears to listen to what’s around me, I’ve been able to hear the buzzing of an insect nearby, hear the call of a specific bird, or hear the rustling in a bush to indicate a small animal was nearby. And these are from day-to-day moments around my neighborhood. So when I’m in a park or at the beach, I truly value the opportunity to just listen to what’s around me.

Listening Can Reveal Pleasant Surprises

When I listen to nature, I’m present. I notice the trees swaying, the birds singing and the bugs humming. It helps me take in my environment; I’m aware of what surrounds me and I’m overwhelmed by the abundance of it all. Tapping in to nature always feels so ancient; it feels like I’m connecting to an all-knowing force around me. I feel so peaceful afterwards.

The image to the left is a photo I was able to grab of a raccoon that I only noticed because I was being present and listening. I was leaning against a bridge railing and I heard a chitterring sound. At first, I wasn’t sure where it came from but I immediately knew a racoon was near. I listened again, looked behind the railing and lo and behold, I saw a raccoon on the railing trying to make its way onto the bridge. It was naturegirl moment that made me truly gleeful inside and I got to appreciate it because I was present. Because I was listening.

Some ways to be present and listen to nature:

  • Find a spot where there’s a diverse source of nature and get comfortable!
  • Look around you, be still and quiet. What are the sounds coming from the sights you see?
  • Close your eyes and simply listen. What do you hear? Is it familiar?
  • Close your eyes, listen to a distinct sound. then open your eyes to see if you can pinpoint what you heard.
  • Do you hear water? Is it a trickling sound like a creek? Or the crashing of waves? What does it sound like the water is doing? Can you envision it without looking at it?
  • As you continue listening and hear scurrying in a bush or a tree – can you tell if it’s a bird or a squirrel?

If you do this enough, you might train your ears to help you be more aware of your surroundings no matter where you go!

“When you walk in nature and speak to the spirit of the elements and to other nature beings, the true wisdom comes through a transmission that is beyond rational understanding. This energetic transmission touches a knowing you were born with, of oneness with the Earth, which acts as fertilizer for your growth.”

– Sandra Ingerman and Llyn Roberts, Speaking with Nature

All photos captured by my (c)dycephotography

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