Today I went for a long hike in the mountains nearby. I went up the Homestead Trail and connected to the Hopalong Cassidy Trail and the Gabby Hayes loop. (Don't you love the names?) When you first start up there are lots of people and dogs and people talking but gradually as people spread out or turn back or take a different trail you end up pretty much on your own. And once you drop back over the first set of hills the thing I find most surprising is... the silence. What a treat to not hear cars, trucks, sirens, and all the other nosies that we don't even know we are hearing. So I started to name what I could hear - my boots on the gravelly path, the rustle of my sleeve against my jacket, the touch of my walking pole each time it came down, the wheeze in my breathing, my heart beating (on the uphill pulls), once the cry of a bird, the rattle of stones along the edge of the path, the sigh of slight breeze. And the silence - which feels like it is vibrating around me. What a treat - taking the time to just stand and feel it around me.