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Sounding in Glen Esk, Scotland

This week my wife Shirley and I are taking some days away from town and city life enjoying the tranquillity of a wee cottage in the hills surrounding Glen Esk, a valley in Angus, north-east Scotland. The cottage is part of a family-run farm whose owners have worked here for four generations. It's quiet in the valley by city standards and we haven't seen a single person during the two days of our stay so far.

As my senses are gradually getting accustomed to the sights and sounds of this area, I begin to take in this ancient landscape with its centuries-old birch wood, the moss and lichen covering the ground and trees, and the many shades of green and brown that the eyes can feast on.

I am also perceiving a new soundscape: sheep munching away at the stubbles of last year's grass, rivulets running down the hillside to join with the larger brook that will eventually join the river Esk, and the song of birds in the air whose names I have yet to discover. As I allow myself to be immersed in nature, I notice a gentle nudge to offer my own sound in response to what I am hearing. And so, without much thought or plan, I open my heart and mouth and let out whatever sound wants to arise from deep within. I have captured my dialogue with nature in the short videos below:

I invite you to consider yourself as being part of the landscape that you inhabit. Taking on the role of observer, what are you noticing that you may not have paid much attention to before? And in your role as participant, what sounds and activities are you contributing to your landscape? Why not experiment with different ways of interacting with the place you find yourself in? And if you feel like it, why not drop me a note about what you have found by clicking the button below.

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