In tune with Mother Nature

To the editor:

Have you ever stepped outside your door only to be greeted by a chorus of birdsong? It’s a truly uplifting experience and one to be repeated over and over again.

That medley of sounds consists of chirps, beeps, twitters, knocks, hoots, squawks and tunes of all sorts, and yet I find that none are offensive. I have always marveled at that. The sounds have different rhythms, different tempos, different pitches; but they never seem to clash with each other.

Some repeat the same note over and over in a constant beep or whistle. Others are repeated in patterns and can be a clue to identifying the specific bird, voicing its message. Others carry on a glorious rendition of notes, producing a beautiful melody. Yet, whatever the message, they blend superbly. And I am amazed …

I feel cheered by the sound and uplifted. I feel calmed by the sound. Every fiber of my body seems to relax. And I ask myself, “Why is that?”

In this day of COVID-19 and racial disturbances, I have found myself concentrating more on the birdsong outside my home. I have realized that oftentimes, when I am distracted by worries and the tasks of everyday living, I don’t even notice the singing. Either I take it for granted or I am oblivious to its presence.

Now, instead of only marveling at the beauty of the songs, I also realize why it has been placed in our midst. It is there to help relieve the stresses of life. Mother Nature comes through again.

The realm of science offers some explanation for us to aid in our understanding. We know that sound is the vibration of air, which we describe in frequencies. A specific frequency is measured in hertz (Hz). Here, the principle of entrainment comes into play. Our brain entrains sound. So why is birdsong so calming? Our brain entrains the sound coming into our left ear with the sound coming into our right ear. If the difference is a frequency of 10 Hz — the Alpha brain wave range — we feel relaxed. We feel calmed. We feel peaceful.

That is what I experience each time I allow myself the opportunity to notice this wonderful gift from Mother Nature.

So let’s remember … the next time we open the door … and remind ourselves to stop and inhale deeply, taking some time to look around. Hear the sounds … notice the singing of the birds. Listen to it for a few more moments, even longer if we have time. Hear how all the different calls seem to blend. Then let’s close our eyes and take another deep breath, letting ourselves feel relaxed, letting ourselves feel calmed, welcoming in the feeling of peace. Let’s focus on the sounds … and let them carry us away. Allow Mother Nature’s gift to envelop us. Let’s relax into the feeling and drift with those sounds on the wind.

In this time of anxiety and fear, let’s focus on the beauty of the sounds we hear each and every day. Let’s focus on birdsong and give thanks to Mother Nature. She is providing us with song. So also may our hearts sing.

Debby Havas