Growing up in rural Keyser, West Virginia, I swam, fished and explored the tributaries and creeks winding through my relatives’ farms. Now living outside of Appalachia, I yearn for that familiar landscape. I gravitate to moving water as a comfort of home. I enjoy meditating on sounds of nature, particularly the swift melodies of streams passing through beds of stone. I often find myself seeking such places to escape pressures of adulthood. Nancy Willard’s “The Secret Speaks” frames my soundscape. I connect with Willard’s thoughts of preserving the independence of childhood, allowing it to evolve through growing up, rather than being abandoned.
My path begins at the crest beyond the Washington Heights entrance. The high point in elevation reminds me of the West Virginia hills. I hope the listener presses forward, as an orchestra of societal noises–voices, footsteps, machinery–grow louder and become oppressive. My soundtrack then draws a parallel between childhood serenity and the quest to find a moment of tranquility. As I continue to descend the hill, the banks of the Huron River offer their peaceful greetings. Here the racket diminishes, and I am left to reflect while being serenaded by trickling water.