A Moment of Silence

In our continuing quest to find a homestead to nourish us, we traveled “up north” (a redundant idiom here in the Big Mitten) to the Traverse City area. It’s been awhile – at least a decade – since I’ve been and I was taken aback by what I saw.

Two casinos, of course. Golf courses, of course. The trees looked worse up there than down here. Perhaps that reflects an expectation on my part that chi chi resort areas pay more attention to aesthetics; perhaps it is another symptom of collapse. The trees are dead and standing, dead and fallen, sick and leaning. High priced real estate rings the bays and shorelines and so do dead and dying trees.

The spread of agriculture, particularly in vineyards, was another surprise. Orchards of apples, cherries, blueberries and peaches are common enough, but we both noticed a big growth in grapes and many, many miles of grapes wrapped in netting.

The area is rife with fresh water; Lake Michigan, of course, but many inland lakes and streams, so the whole area has a touristy feel, with boutique villages and towns with tiny year round populations, but exploding ones in summer.

We walked a few properties, one of which gave us both tingles. Enough acreage, apple trees, hardwoods and pines, an inspiring view, a stream or boggy area, rolling land…..ahhhh, my kind of place. The house wasn’t ideal, but they never are if the land is right. You can fix houses, you can’t fix land.

Or people, as it happens. Because imagine what the sound levels are like come summer. Power boats of all sizes, fishing boats, jetskis buzzing around the lakes from dawn til dusk.

I have come to regard the burning of fossil fuels for fun every bit as obscene as a snuff film. That thought don’t play well in the northern regions of my state. Besides the boats, and jetskis, people have snowmobiles, atvs, dirt bikes, RVs, pickup trucks, and any other CO2 emitting “toy” you can think of.

Besides emitting toxins that will cause extinction, they emit sound.

Have you ever timed how long you could be outside (or inside for that matter) without hearing a manmade noise? Usually it is an airplane or jet or siren or car or truck or music or power tool or whatever, but it has been documented and measured…..there are only one or two places left on the globe where there is no manmade noise for 15 minutes.

You’d think I’d be past being stunned at the stupidity of our species, but noooo, the hits just keep coming. We can’t go more than 15 minutes anywhere on the planet without hearing a manmade sound.

Kinda makes us stupid for seeking privacy and quiet, doesn’t it? But even 5 minutes here and there of nothing but natural sounds would be bliss. I’m so over our species. I want to hear others.

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8 Responses to A Moment of Silence

  1. Chris says:

    Keep looking, but I do agree..man made noises are everywhere. But I do enjoy the pond noises every night

  2. witsendnj says:

    Oh yes, I hate the noise!!! I’m surrounded by the Johnson (J&J) family estate, thousands of acres, and now those assholes have gotten themselves a variance for a heliport permit, so they don’t have to have their chauffeur drive them 10 minutes to a private airport in the limosine. AAuuugghhh!

    Good luck in your search!

  3. 20-odd years ago I saw a TV report on a guy who was trying to record the sounds of all the places on Earth that did not have manmade sounds. At that point he had found 19 places, but he hadn’t looked absolutely everywhere. If we’re lucky, we still have at least those 19.

    Apparently many people LOVE noise though. At my grandparents’ cottage community, people constantly make noise with jetskis, power tools, dirtbikes, etc. I’m frazzled by the noise by the end of a weekend. It’s worse than my neighbourhood which is downtown in a big city!

    This past weekend it was quite rainy in my area, so things were much quieter. No motorcycles blasing, no lawnmowers! I deliberately did not turn on the TV or radio just to enjoy the quiet. It was bliss.

  4. pauline says:

    I was working yesterday at my gardening job, and I was happily pruning a struggling Pieris/Adromeda back into some semblance of a graceful plant, imagining a Zen garden Sensei spirit guide looking over my shoulder, guiding my cuts and clips, when along came a big ass white truck that proceeded to unload two massive leave blowers requiring ear protection and face masks. The operators only had ear protection, which in itself was impressive. They ruined the peace and quiet and they ruined the air quality and their spewed more CO2, rather than sequestering it by mulch mowing the leaves.
    Like you, I’m so done with our species. We deserve everything we get.

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