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Sounds of earth and sky

In the watershed there is never absolute silence. Often, something close to silence can be experienced late at night and in the very early hours, but at these times you can still perceive a gentle humming from crickets, toads and other small creatures, like a mellow purr in the distance.

Around 5:30 am every day there is a noticeable change to the vibrational quality of sound in the watershed. An ecology of many bird types starts chanting, all at once, in an honouring affirmation of a Sun that is about to appear on the Eastern horizon. Many kinds of choruses and responses take place, and one is immersed in a 360 degree field of chirping. This lasts for 20 minutes more or less. They are singing to the soft, unfocussed, tender and all-embracing light emanating from the sky just before the Sun has risen.

The pre-dawn outburst from birds ushers in the new vibrational quality of the morning. This signals a change to day-mode for the entire rainforest. Birds will continue to sing throughout morning and afternoon, but not in the mass choral spurt of sunrise.

Every so often, in advance of a big thunderstorm, there is a rumble in the sky before any rain or lightning has dropped to the ground. A kind of smooth horizontal thunder moves in between clouds, in a constant OM-like sound. It is as if the celestial vault became an enormous gong, bathing with sound the rainforest below. It can take up to 45 minutes for the storm to erupt. At this point, thunder coming to the ground can be so intense that one feels each of these strikes, as a tremor throughout the entire body. Often we have the impression that lightning has struck one of the trees immediately in our surroundings, or perhaps even the roof over our heads. And yet, we have never been able to find evidence of where the lightning hits.

When the full moon overlaps with the dry season, a most peculiar sound phenomena can be experienced. Imagine the sound of a bubble bursting out of a body of water, and then repeat that, in multiple delays and lengths, many many times, in many many locations, far and near throughout the rainforest. This can last for many hours at a time. After some pondering, we came to realise that this was a moon-adoring bird. Dozens (hundreds?) of birds synchronize and syncopate their tune as an honouring of the sparkle and delicacy of the full moon on a cloudless sky.

Living in the rainforest we have heard many other unique and incredible sounds: the roar of a big cat (puma?), the synchronicity of thousands of insects buzzing at sunset, the rippling of spiral forms in the water, etc, etc. The list is perhaps endless. What we have come to learn is that the sounds of nature are an expressive manifestation of an energy field that is shifting according to celestial, atmospheric, animal and flora-related cycles. Subtler expressions of these energy shifts are becoming palpable to us too. It is a blessing to count with the sounds of these surrounding ecologies as an invitation to connect deeper with the living fields and energies of the rainforest.

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