Quiet is Okay

It’s quiet in the rain forest. No woodpeckers hammer hemlocks, no thrush sing. That’s okay. Even in a summer when most of the engines of industrial tourism have been silenced by a virus, a quiet forest is often hard to find. 

            Aki’s nails beat a faint tattoo on the trail boards. When we pass a little cataract of moving water, the sound seems deafening. We return to quiet when we leave the boardwalk to walk on the soft forest floor. That’s why the sudden burst of eagle bickering is so jarring. While we approach the beach, one bald eagle chases another, driving its victim into a spruce tree. I can’t find either eagle after we emerge from the woods. 

            A single parent merganser family cruises off shore, making no noise. The resident crows and a flock of Bonaparte gulls remain silent until I walk in their direction. They take to the air, moan a bit, then fly noiselessly away. Later we see eagles sulking quietly on the beach.

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