A Branch While Hiking


In my neck of the woods a branch is a small tributary to a creek or larger waterway. Whilst tromping through the woods and glades many ditches, creeks, and branches flowed. The created fetching sights or lovely gurgling sounds. These watery places were part of the adventure and a place to cool off during the heat of summer.

On many occasions there was nothing for it than fording a branch to get to the other side. In warm weather it was off socks and boots and pile the gear high out of reach of the water. Minding the slippery rocks and curious fish I waded. This was my preferred maneuver to cross a branch.

Sitting on the far shore drying in the sunshine gave me time to admire the flowing water and to imagine stories the steam might tell of its course.

My favorite character, Ratty in the Wind in the Willows advised “there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”  I have always admired Rat’s view of that world.

I say, “believe me, absolutely there is this one thing, so much worth doing, that is simply messing about in branches.” For me, maybe, more so than messing about in boats with apologies to Ratty.

Noise is Messy

via Daily Prompt: Messy

Noise is a fact of the world, at least living in a decibel messy society. Massive roads lead to efficient traffic jams. Airports in turn attract buzzing private aircraft and multi-engined monsters. We strow noise like there is no tomorrow.

Working places have always had noise hazards. Personal protective gear are required to armor frail humans. Only so much noise can we tolerate before the delicate body parts fail, so use the hearing protection.

My friends like their music extremely loud. I think this is because they blew out their hearing years ago so up-the-volume simply to hear more than the bass.

It is a messy world full of  sonic distractions. It is difficult to wade through the clutter of inputs. At times my efforts to focus my attention fail me.

When I do not want attention to the world, when I need sleep, I turn on a fan. It is a controllable sound that more or less controls the frequencies that make one of my environmental hazards.

I do not think there is a cultural imperative to clean up the messy noises that have been accepted and perhaps forgotten for so long. I mean the daily burrs and whirs and all those chimes and ringtones. Whilst walking with a neighbor a bird sang. He checked the cellphone. It was a bird song, not a text. I agree, the bird made a very convincing ring tone.

Some resorts and travel destinations sell the absence of noise to their clients. It is called peace and quiet. A location at least somewhat less messy with noise.

So I jump in my vehicle, become part of traffic, and again jump a jumbo jet to seek what I cannot find at home.

Destination: quietude. At a cost.