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In the Bowl: The hum of civilization is all around us, though mostly unnoticed. It's not in the bowl between Redington, Crocker, Sugarloaf, Spaulding, and Abraham
Posted by Douglas, Oct 1, 2008. 2424 views. ID = 1824

In the Bowl

Posted by Douglas, Oct 1, 2008. 2424 views. ID = 1824
This post was written in 36 minutes.
This post has been awarded 34 stars by 8 readers.
This post is Part 17 of a writing series titled Stories and Poems About Mountains.

When people talk about the hum of civilization, they're usually referring to the hectic bustle and clamor of human life in towns and cities. But there is a more literal hum of human civilization. It is so subtle, so quiet, that we don't consciously take note of it.

It is the vibration of tires on pavement, the murmur of human voices, the quiet sounds of a thousand different televisions and radios simultaneously playing a hundred different channels, the ringing of doorbells, the closing of car doors, and the sixty-cycle hum of electrical systems. These noises, most of which are distinctive enough to be recognized when heard up-close and personal, are indistinguishable at a distance, and combine in a wash of sound which is barely registered by the human brain.

But here, at the base of Redington Mountain, you are in a natural bowl - surrounded by Redington to the west, Crocker Mountain to the north, Sugarloaf and Spaulding Mountains to the east, and Mount Abraham to the south. Within this giant bowl there is not a bit of civilization. No cars, no trucks, no televisions, no radios, and no electrical hum.


There is only you.

So stop for a moment. Don't speak. Don't move. And, for a moment, don't even breathe.

In that moment, you will feel as though there is something wrong with your ears. It's not that you can't hear. You will still hear the sound of the wind rustling through the autumn leaves. You will still hear the occasional call of a bird. The quiet gurgle of the stream will be there. But underneath all of that, you will feel as though something is missing.

It is the hum of civilization.

And there, in that moment, perhaps for the first time in your life, you will have the very powerful sensation that you are the outsider, you are the trespasser, you are the one who does not - and never will - belong.

That feeling will be immediately followed by the very startling realization that you would be more surprised to see another human on this trail than to see a black bear come lumbering out of the woods.


Then you'll decide it's time to start moving again.

Copyright 2008 Douglas. All rights reserved. FifteenMinutesOfFiction.com has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.
 


   
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This post has been awarded 34 stars by 8 readers.
This post is Part 17 of a writing series titled Stories and Poems About Mountains. The next part of this series can be found here: Bradbury Mountain.
This is a revised version of a post. Click here to view the original version




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