Listen Loudly

It’s Mental Health Awareness week and the Canadian Mental Health Association is asking people to share how they #GETLOUD about mental health in order to promote mental wellness in themselves and others.

Here’s my take:

I get noisy by becoming quiet and listening loudly; when it is time to still the chatter of anxiety, the natural world mutes the part of my brain that thinks it can solve problems by adding them to an ever more cacophonous repeat loop.

Recently, I discovered the magical euphony of a winter’s worth of ice blowing off a lake. It was as if the various worries and concerns I had been nurturing melted into the indigo waters when I stopped to concentrate on the sound of ice crystals tumbling against each other.

Other sounds intensified too as the lake shed its ice. Loons called and meadowlarks warbled. The wind simmered through branches and murmured over hills.

Concentrating on these sounds magnified what I was seeing; the tiny audubon warblers scampered dog sized over the rocks and marmots lumbered against the horizon.

My thoughts turned to more creative pursuits as I accentuated the sounds of nature and I imagined trying to convey the intensity of what I was hearing in a painting.

Now that I’m back home, I can still hear the ice tumbling if necessary but I hardly need to. Outside, our back yard teems with the sounds of nature, ever ready to hush anxiety while nourishing creativity.

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