On a Quiet Day I can hear her breathing.

The earth as a living organism.



8/29/20222 min read

The title of my blog today is taken from a current exhibition in Sydney, which features photographs that "reflect the Earth as a living organism." Have you ever been somewhere so completely quiet that you too have heard the earth breathe? That is a feeling that I get sometimes when I sit at home on a quiet day. Yesterday was Sunday and as I surveyed the pine forest that rises above our home early that morning, the world was still. Not a breath of wind could be heard , nor any sound of life . And yes, I am sure that I could hear the earth breathe. We often experience complete silence here. I value it above everything else in the whole world.

Our last holiday visitors of the season have just left for Paris.. I smile when I recall what they have written in our guest book , about how much they will miss 'la calme ' and 'le silence'. Sometimes the silence is broken as the wind rises, gently stirring the branches of a tree before spreading through the forest like a rumour, until all the trees are calling to each other. In spring we may hear the cuckoo cry, or a snake eagle mewing from on high like a seagull. In summer the cicadas set up a constant buzz. And on most days throughout the year our friend the raven will call out to us across the still air as he launches himself from his home in the adjacent trees, just to let us know that he is off on one of his daily acrobatic flights down the valley with his mate(s). We are never alone here in our silence, despite our isolation.

But Sundays alas are very different . They can be very noisy indeed. I never claimed that we live in Paradise. Sunday is the busiest day for the hunters who come to our forest in search of deer and sanglier( wild boar.) So yesterday I feared that the ugly sound of baying dogs and gunfire would soon puncture the peaceful start to our day. But silence still hovered overr our forest and there was an uneasy calm. The beginning of the hunting season I learned, has been delayed. But far below us on the road that winds through our valley, the weekend motor cyclists arrive, throwing their noisy machines around the bends at breakneck speed, and revving their engines like giant aggressive hornets. But by the end of the day they will be gone. Complete peace will be restored, apart from occasional birdsong, or the church bells down in the village , ringing out the seven o'clock ‘Angelus.’. And then maybe, if the wind has dropped, we will hear the earth breathe once more. SLOW DOWN WORLD BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.

Earth with clouds above the African continent
Earth with clouds above the African continent