Monday, December 21, 2009

Sounds. What a Difference!

I wish I could tape them for you. Of course you have them in the North but in Florida in our sound proof home we tend to forget them. That proverbial question: if a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody there, is there sound? The answer will depend on how you define someone, because we know all the animals can hear it, the plants can sense the vibrations, and even the sounds in space can be measured on earth. So yes someone can always hear them.

But that wasn't why I was writing, because there are plenty of people here. Tons of them, big, small, tall and large, happy and sad, mostly happy. Millions of them in San Juan. So there is no trouble with people hearing the sounds or making them for that matter. The laughter of a child two stories above, a truck's intermittent warning as it backs up, a boy singing, a dropped pot bangs and clatters in a ring, the buzz of a plane flying over head, the thrashing of huge trash bins, the whirling of a siren down the road, and the birds.

Sound pollution competing with a symphony. I'll gladly take the laughter, the songs, and the birds.

This morning, it was the birds that caught my eye, though I saw not one. All I did was hear them at first and then listen. Listen I did to their chirps long, short, and shrilled, as well as, the happy, surprised, and territorial whistles. They are silent now mostly, when the world started to wake up next to them, competing forcefully against them. They muted saving their lullabies and calls for a more quiet audience. Perhaps a mellow moment.

Wait there they go again, perhaps not as loud as they were when they were trying to wake the sleepers, but now more softly, signaling to friends and foes, greetings and warnings. All of this is taking place in Carolina. The birds I am referring to live in the trees next to the lagoon, La Laguna San Jose, near Laguna Gardens which in reality should be declared a sanctuary for wildlife before its too late. It is a breathing space teeming with life not far from the conglomerated city with concrete piled in little houses not more than four feet from each other in Villa Palmera or the high rise hotels and condos in Isla Verde. The whole Lagoon should be protected by Recursos Naturales, from water contamination and unrestricted growth of building and private properties. The fowl, flora and fauna, that surround the beautiful mangroves or manglares which keeps them healthy also needs to be protected.

The sounds of the area are a wonderful sound of life, human and animal. The concrete, don't get me wrong, provides safety in storms, but we need a balance and the Laguna San Jose provides it.

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