Dusk At The Lake
I’ve never been at this lake as night falls. It’s close to my office, but my commuting schedule means I’m typically on the train ride towards home at that time. But early winter sunsets and a flexible schedule means I can experience nightfall and still catch the last train home.
I sit on a bench along the lake. Watching gentle, calm ripples. Watching the reflection of the trees, dark green against a medium green lake, as they blend into all black as the sun completely sets.
It’s been found that spending time in nature is beneficial for your eyesight. Viewing a wider, outward, landscape of the world improves our distance-focus. On the other hand, I find that to hear the sounds of nature, if you’re in the middle of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan congestion, you need to tune inward. It’s easy for the drone of human elements to overtake the subtle sounds of nature.
Listening intently, I hear a small flock of ducks whistle as they fly overhead. A mallard quacks in the distance. I barely hear the splash, but see the ripples, as a hooded merganser lands about 20 feet from where I sit.
Otherwise, the sounds of this little spot of nature include a steady roar of traffic on the nearby highway. An ambulance and fire engines blare their sirens. A motorcycle revs. From the homes behind me, their heating units kick on. Walkers on the lake pathway talk, laugh, play their mp3s too loud. A bicyclist rings his bell. It’s a chorus of noise, all man-made.
A tiny spot of light creeps across the lake and grabs my attention. It’s a reflection of the plane overhead. Here, sounds of planes and helicopters are incessant, on their landing approach at a nearby airport. I’m used to my rail line – trains are staggered seven minutes apart. It appears that airplanes are less so. As soon as one leaves my left peripheral vision, one is entering from the right. The noise is constant.
I try to imagine what nature was like without all these man-made sounds.