Too much noise. There is too much noise. I am sitting in the car on a back road near the Bottomland trail at the Tallgrass Preserve. I just walked through a spectacular display of tall grasses and sunflowers. Now, I’m parked on the road just past the bridge that goes over Fox Creek. It is 8:30 am but the sun is already feeling hot, so I drove to this spot in the shade. I had turned on the radio as I got in the car and there was a story on NPR about a civil rights event in the 60s. It was not unimportant but I turned it off and as I did the thought that came to me was, there is too much noise. We are bombarded with the noise of radio and TV, constantly. The only escape is to turn it off. So I did. Now I hear crickets and mosquitoes and birds. I look out the open window of the car and see tree trunks and shade with sunlight on the edges. I need to shut off the noise more often. I feel a wave of relief go through my body. I realize I do not need the endless programming provided on the radio and TV. It never stops. It never ends. One program ends and another begins, interspersed by commercials or appeals for donations to pay for the programming to continue, to keep the noise going. Fortunately, I still have a choice as to whether I turn it on or not. I do not know if the world would be better if there was less noise, but I do know my world is better with less noise.

Well, I’ve driven almost all the way back to town now, but have stopped in the shade along a side road. It is a spot I used to stop when biking out west of town from the trailer park we lived in from 2009 to 2012. There is a patch of woods along a creek.  As I drove here I chose not to turn on the radio, not to turn on the noise. I felt an urge to turn it on, several times. I had to choose to resist the urge. I wonder what that urge is about.  What is it? Is it a habit? Is it a need or a want? I am not sure, but for now the noise is off, the windows open.  I hear crickets again and birds.

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