Listen to the Sounds
On Sunday, I took a walk through Inwood Hill Parkthe last existing glimpse to the natural wonder that Manhattan once was. Tulip trees and red-backed salamanders populate these woods. Along the paved trail, a playful soul chalked in instructions for hikers:
"Listen to the sounds."
I stood inside the designated listening square and closed my eyes. To my right, I heard cars rushing on the not-so-distant Washington Bridge. I thought of pink noise. To the left was the nothingness of the salt marshes and above green leaves rustling. From all around, birds chirped, tweeted, and brrrrrd. The rapid-fire tock-tock-tock-tock-tock-tock-tock of a woodpecker punctuated the air.
There is music everywhere if you listen closely.
At the loop by the Spuyten Duyvil Creek, I read an informational sign. To paraphrase: Welcome to Inwood Hill Park. Trees and bushes are good for the park because they inhibit erosion, the loss of soil over time. Please follow designated paths. Making your own trail contributes to erosion as you are killing plant life by stepping on it.
When I started my adventure, I followed unbeaten paths to visual wonders: shorelines, boulder peaks, and bridges. With each step up an unused incline or down a soggy hill, I broke a tree limb, disrupted anthills, and made each pathway just a little clearer for the next human.
After reading the sign, I wondered, "What will happen to the music?"