It’s not what you hear that matters, its how you listen. Some of us hear different drummers and step to a beat heard only in our own heads. Do you hear what I hear? For the past couple of weeks, when all is quiet, my ears resonate with a high-pitched whine. It’s not as loud or annoying as a backyard full of circadas or a bullfrog in heat. It gives me a chance to think of other sounds of the season; carols, snow, UPS trucks, firelogs, and Salvation Army bells. Jingles.
The winds have joined forces with the cold and hammer the sail halyards against the masts. It’s a hallow sound as the sails are stored in darkened basement closets to wait out winter. Chilly gusts chaffe the arthritic joints of trees that are not likely survive the season. We’ll warm our hands with mugs of hot chocolate, pull on thick socks, toss another log on the fire, and listen to the silence of winter nights. Pa rum pa pum pum.
Every month has a particularly strong grip on at least one of the human senses. March smells like worms – it’s nature’s signal that the ground is warming. July tastes hot and sticky. October’s vivid foliage sears retinas. November envelops us in the warm touch of family and friends. December saturates our auditory senses with hustle, bustle, voices silenced long ago, whispering angel wings, and familiar carols. Ding, dong.
I like the sound of the word /tin’ nuh tus/. I know it will quiet down as my sinuses heal so there’s no reason to alter my pace for the long run. My ears are tuned to catch the cacophony of kindergarteners belting out their first Christmas concert and the scrunch of lightly frosted snow beneath my boots. The older I am lucky enough to grow, the more I relish listening to nature and people. I think this is why the last month of the year holds such a lock on our ears. There is much to be heard and enjoy – if you just take the time to listen. Tidings of comfort and joy.