Being Able to Hear

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Recently I watched a reporter ask people in a grocery store, “If you had to give up one of your five senses, which one would you choose?” As if they were deciding which of their children to put up for adoption, they hemmed and hawed before answering. One man said he would give up his sight.  A few opted to sacrifice their sense of taste. Most, however, said they would give up their ability to hear. I’d hate to be unable to hear, especially on this gray day in the mountains when wind music and bird song provide most of the drama.

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Aki and I have just dropped off a frozen muskeg meadow that was a study in low contrast colors.  The red color of four bog cranberries sang out for my attention. I popped the plumpest one in my mouth, enjoying its powerful tartness until Aki have me a hard look. Last summer she developed a taste for sweet blueberries.   Knowing her taste preferences, I didn’t offer her a cranberry.

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We enter a hemlock forest where the sounds of a stream break the silence. The pitch and tone of the stream changes as the trail moves us closer to it. The monotony of forest green would soon grow boring if we couldn’t hear the hard-working watercourse.

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