Real quiet is presence — not an absence of sound but an absence of noise

Yesterday as I walked through the forest near home, I heard a plane fly over – and realised how quiet the sky has become in COVID times.

Traffic on the roads was less for a long time, too. Just lately people in the ACT have gone back to working in offices instead of at home. Within days I noticed the morning and evening traffic noise on the highway across the valley crescendo again.

Today at the Canberra Writers Festival Christine Jackman author of Turning down the Noise, which came out this week, mentioned Gordon Hempton.

Gordon Hempton aka the Sound Tracker, travelled (unfortunately not travels, at present) the world recording quiet. Quiet, the absence of noise, is disappearing from our planet.

For a while, we had quiet skies, quiet roads, quiet streets. For a while, people could hear the birds, the trees, the sound of leaves falling. For a while, everyone heard what we hikers hear when walking through forests: the absence of noise, the serenity of silence.

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