One of my favorite things to do each morning before sunrise during the warm seasons is go outside and listen to sounds of the rushing stream, birds tweeting, turkeys gobbling and owls hooting at their roosts as the planet turns and the sun slowly rises. If I'm lucky, a forest grouse will call or a pack of coyote will yip and howl. A woodpecker hammers on a tree in the distance while another arrives–as it does each morning–and rat-tat-tats at the corner of the steel roof of the house, scaring flying insects from their hiding places in the seams then deftly plucks them from the air as they attempt to flee. A humming bird hums up to inspect the colors in my shirt then hums on in search of natural color promising nectar.
No muddled noise of "civilization" invades this natural auditory delight. No churning engines. No hiss or rumble of tires rolling on pavement. No squeal of brakes. No growl of aircraft. No honking horns or sirens. No murmuring crowds or cell phone ringtones. Nothing but sweet, clean sound waves of wilderness separated by plenty of silent pauses reach my ears.
Scents in the air are clean and distinct too, unsullied by the stench of exhaust fumes and other airborne waste. Wild Holly stands out, as do the apple blossoms. Numerous other fragrances including greening grasses and ground plants. Not the scent of brutally mown grass and weeds–I do not deign to mow out here. Sacrilege.
I sit still, quietly sipping hot tea as the sun makes its appearance, enhancing pleasant sights of the new day with splashes of golden light on greening grasses between long shadows. No expanses of concrete and asphalt speckled with grime-blackened, spit-out gum spots and tossed cigarette butts. No monstrously tall steel and glass skyscrapers. No garish signs advertising junk and useless services I don't need. No litter scattered and blowing across pavement or floating down nasty gutters. And I wonder how in hell I put up with living in such horribly sound, scent and sight-polluted towns and cities for so long without going totally insane.
Knowledge of a much better alternative and long-term plans to escape someday, I suppose.