61 – Hearing

My apologies for the repetitions in this post. I’m in the process of correcting it.

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like walking on the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Hearing the sounds of the sea as I walk is relaxing. The sequence of the swell at the start of the breaking waves to the clap of the crest’s splash to the shoosh gently fading away. I even hear the popping of the tiny bubbles as water caresses my feet.

That sound is repetitive and constant while dominating the beach’s soundscape – but both similar and different with each passing day.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Hearing – the only sense relying on vibrations. The shell of our outer ear capturing the sound waves of the sea and then directs those waves that we don’t yet hear to the eardrum causing it to vibrate. The vibrating eardrum then causes the three bones of the middle ear to vibrate – yet we still do not hear at this point.

The vibrating bones cause another membrane to vibrate – which causes inner ear fluid to vibrate – then nerve endings specialized to a particular wavelength of sound detect the vibrations – yet we do not hear.

Nerves carry the detected messages to a specialized section in the brain that puts all the messages together. Ahhhh – now I hear the sounds of the sea that I enjoy.

I think of the classic holiday song because we apply our perspective into interpreting sounds. Do you know Do You Hear What I Hear? What one person enjoys, another may not. But no matter the song or composition, it starts with the music. Music stirs a wide range of emotions that starts with what we hear.

Each of us reacts differently to sounds. The booms of fireworks excite some – but frighten others – and even terrify some pets. The roars of a large waterfall provide a sense of awe while also warning us of its power.

Without hearing, sound is silent to the listener. The listener does not hear the emotions of music. The listener does not experience nature’s sounds. The listener cannot differentiate the soundscapes of the beach, the stream, the woods, and the meadow.

Photo by Ashford Marx on Pexels.com

They do not hear the words of love, encouragement, support, enthusiasm, and wisdom. They do not hear the voice that gives one peace. On the plus side, they are protected from the political noise of partisan bickering, personal slander, and consistent vitriol.

I think of the animals in nature whose hearing mechanism is like ours – yet some are acutely more sensitive for protective purposes. Dogs have nerve endings for detecting frequencies beyond our upper range, so they painfully hear the dog whistle that we cannot hear. Deer can detect a slight rustling of the ground caused by a seemingly quiet step by a human in the distance.

Hearing isn’t the same as listening. Some may say listening is sophisticated hearing. Listening is mindful attention to what is said. Listening is focusing on the spoken words, not on what to say in response. Listening is something we give someone – respect – a gift that connects us to others. There is also the aspect of wanting to be heard as opposed to listening to others.

Listening stimulates thinking – listening makes a person better – listening leads us to a great understanding – listening connects humanity – listening joins us with nature as we concentrate on the natural sounds while trying to apply meaning.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Regular sounds reassure our existence. We know what to expect in certain places and settings. However, when we listen, we not only hear the depth of different sounds, we can also detect the sounds that are not normal – those that do not belong – those carrying a message that something is different or has changed. It could be a sign of something is wrong – even simply an addition or something missing.

But, some people favor being heard or hearing their voice. Then again, maybe they prefer telling over listening.

Hearing – a sense that we value – yet take for granted. Does listening to loud music through headphones at a high volume demonstrate a greater value one has for music than hearing? But what did I know then – or did I not listen to wisdom? Is this a reason for my hearing aids today? Then again, there is also an aging factor.
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I have a choice when I walk. I can hear the wind or I can listen to it. Thinking about what the wind is saying helps the mind wander and wonder. Listening and thinking helps turn the sounds of the beach into an inner peace – a bliss. After all, I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have written about hearing

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61 thoughts on “61 – Hearing”

  1. You appear to have an echo, Frank- a repeated mid-section? 😦 It’s an awesome process, that by which we hear. My son sells hearing aids and I’m starting to have a few problems but I can still hear the sound of the sea 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jo,
      Thank you for mentioning the echo. How embarrassing. When I copy/[paste to move things around, odd things can happen. Good that you have your son to give me some guidance about hearing aids. Then again, you can’t get to the UK to see him. Grrrrr …. Thanks again!

      Like

  2. My immediate reaction when reading your post today was to think how much I love the sound of the ocean. The other things about being on a beach are wonderful but hearing the surf whether angry or calm is my favorite part of the beach experience. Should I ever lose my hearing, feeling the sand on my feet as the foam of a wave reaches me would be my second favorite thing. I know your post is about much more than this, but it’s what was FIRST in my mind.

    Pam

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pam,
      I agree because there is something about the sounds on the beach that takes us to another place. From the moment one first arrivals, the feeling of specialness envelopes us. I think about those with hearing issues – especially the elderly. Once they are on the beach, the thing the sounds transport them to a sea of memories and relaxation. Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  3. Good morning, Frank! I also find the the sounds of the beach soothing, and yes, a distinction between hearing and listening. Right now, I’m hearing–and listening–to morning birdsong.
    Like others commented, I think you accidentally repeated some portions.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Merril,
      I know how much you enjoy morning and your walks, so I’m sure you are tuned into noticing the many sounds of nature. I need to go out soon to notice what nature is offering me today. Meanwhile, sorry about my embarrassing moment about the repeating sections. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Its hard to imagine not hearing the ocean waves or the sounds of birds and the noises of this world. I do feel sorry for those who have little or no hearing – like my husband – they miss so much. My husband tells me hearing aids do not produce the quality of hearing that his ears did when he was young. Nice post Frank.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peggy,
      Not only not being able to hear the sounds of nature, but also the sounds from loved ones – especially after having hearing. Imagine being born without the ability to hear. Seeing surroundings, but hearing nothing. I know of a baby born in January that is totally deaf – and will have a cochlear implant in a few months. Sad – but hopefully the implant will brighten her world. Meanwhile, I think of hearing aids as amplifiers of sound that do not match natural clarity. But improved hearing is better than the alternative. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent post Frank. Informative and touching, a great combination. I was once told that a man who had no hearing would take his shoes off and stand on his wooden floors to listen to the songs on his stereo. He could hear the music through the vibrations in his feet. I once did the same thing and he was right. What an incredible feeling.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s funny. Just yesterday I watched an episode of New Amsterdam where a woman had her Cochlear implant removed because she couldn’t stand the noise. She preferred to feel the vibration of music rather than hear it. I guess if you are born death, you don’t know what you miss. I’m thinking she really listened because she couldn’t hear.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I do love the sounds of a beach.
    I’ve always found the ocean’s roar restful.
    👂🏽 This is an ear emoji, but it looks like a footprint in the sand. Kind of a 2-fer!
    How’s this for an earful? They are doing infrastructure improvements on the 100 yr. old sewer on my street.
    King Kong vs Godzilla is a quieter happening. Sometimes it’s 24 hours a day.
    I can’t sleep. I can barely concentrate during the day, as there is no room in my apartment the racket does not penetrate.
    The good news is that it will be completed in August, 2022.
    I’m going to read your post on Sight, then google ear plugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I enjoyed listening to the waves and thinking about being at the beach in less than two weeks. 🙂 There’s a huge difference between hearing and listening, much more of the former happens and too little of the latter. You talk about listening as focusing, giving respect. I wonder what all those who sit together while each on his/her own device or walk outside while focused on a device are really doing. It certainly isn’t listening and it’s definitely not respectful.

    You missed a chance to ask the age-old question: If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there, did it make a noise? My husband and I disagree on the answer. 🙂

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janet,
      Cheers to you getting some beach time soon! Oh … I will chime into the age-old question. Did it make sound waves? Most definitely. Noise? No, because noise is a neurological interpretation of sound waves. So, who agrees with me?

      Like

      1. I guess the original was did it make a sound, not a noise. My husband agrees with you. I have several thoughts. Were there animals around? Will the sound waves go forever without hitting any eardrums? 🙂

        Like

  9. Hearing is a very special sense, Frank. I suffered a bout of sudden hearing loss a few years ago and I developed a new appreciation for a sense I thought I wasn’t taking for granted.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. So my dad is blind and i’m deaf so you got my attention on this one as well. Recently found out I have an inner ear disease that can be fixed through surgery which is the good news. A hearing aide is great because I can tune in when I want to and out by taking them out. Oh but one more thing to track. We take these little things for granted that are so important and I’m grateful for what I do hear. Nice post Frank! 💖

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This is a lovely post, Frank. I have been enjoying the sound of birds this early spring. I have turned off the music and just enjoyed working around the house or out in the garden listening to the birds as they welcome spring. It’s brought me much joy. My hearing isn’t as sharp as it once was, or so my children tell me when they note the volume on the television, but I can hear all that I need to hear. Maybe some that I’m missing is okay by me? LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

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