This morning as I was walking down the gravel road, watching the dog run zig-zags following his nose around the dead cornstalks, I realized I don’t take an iPod or some other gadget with me for music or news or noise. One could justifiably guess I’m looking for peace, quiet, and solitude in the outdoors. I’ve considered, on more than one occasion, loud electronic entertainment to drown out my own thoughts, my achy cold muscles, my daily walking distance goal (and how bloody long it is taking me to get there), and whatever else is going on internally. And I do have several choices of portable devices I could shove in my ears to provide diversion and distraction.
But the quiet of the outdoors can be deafening.
I may sometimes feel as though I’m a million miles from civilization, but not so in reality. I can hear the fans on the grain bins behind the tree claim kick on and off in what seems a futile attempt to keep its contents viable. The passing train blares a warning horn and chugs by on the cold, stiff iron rails. The random vehicle crunches the ice, snow and gravel under its tires on a parallel road.
If civilization wasn’t noisy enough, the wind crashes around pushing the icy, brittle tree branches into each other. If I listen carefully, sometimes I can hear what I believe to be the Momma deer and her twins who live in the trees behind my house and along the road taking timid steps, sniffing the air, twitching their big ears. Usually, tho, they hide deep in the tree claim hoping Smoke doesn’t catch their scent. Of course, he is more afraid of them than they are of him, but if he manages to kick them up and out of their hiding spot, he gives chase for maybe 100 yards before he barks at their flagging white tails disappearing across the empty field, turns, and trots back, victorious, to me.
There is nothing peaceful or quiet or alone in the outdoor “solitude” surrounding my daily walking adventures.
“A Tribute Album To Keith Whitley”
Don’t Close Your Eyes - Alan Jackson
Ten Feet Away - Diamond Rio
I’m Gonna Hurt Her On The Radio - Keith Whitley
I’m Over You - Tracy Lawrence
When You Say Nothing At All - Alison Krauss & Unions Station
Charlotte’s In North Carolina - Keith Whitley
I Just Want You - Keith Whitley & Lorrie Morgan
Little Boy Lost - Daron Norwood
All I Ever Loved Was You - Ricky Skaggs With Shenandoah
I’m No Stranger To The Rain - Joe Diffie
I Never Go Around Mirrors - Mark Chestnutt
The Comeback Kid - Keith Whitley
A Voice Still Rings True - Joe Diffie, Ricky Skaggs, Sawer Brown, & More