Thursday, August 28, 2014

Plugging My Ears

As a child, whenever I did not want to listen to someone or hear something, I would plug my ears with my fingers.

Often singing, "La, la, la..."

It usually was an attempt to avoid hearing Momma calling me to do some chore or a sibling pestering me.


I had a colleague for whom loud, continuous noises could cause great distress to the point of physical sickness.  He would wear sound-limiting earphones whenever he knew he would be around loud sounds.

I watch my brother, after years of working in a loud manufacturing plant, use ear plugs when he worked with power tools or lawn equipment.


I have always taken my hearing for granted.

I have a pretty keen sense of hearing.

I am able to distinguish the slightest differences in a sound, between voices or instruments.

I am able to hear things a fraction of a second sooner than others might hear them.


Recently I have watched my momma deal with age-related hearing loss.  Now, with the help of technology, she is rediscovering sounds that she has not heard for several years.


Students of music will recall that the composer Beethoven was afflicted with the devastation of deafness.  Its onset occurred around age 29.  For the remainder of his life he faced each day with decreasing hearing and eventual silence.


I can not even fathom what it would be like to not hear anything ever again.

Even the mere thought of that is unnerving.


All of these thoughts flitted through my mind the other day as I mowed my lawn wearing ear plugs for the first time.

It was amusing because the sound of the mower was so muted that at times I found myself wondering if it was running.  Amusing because it was a riding lawn mower and I was riding it at the time so yes, obviously, it was running. But I still would catch myself looking at the mower to make sure it was still chewing up grass!

Why hadn't I worn these foamy little ear plugs sooner?

I couldn't find them.
I thought I'd look dorky.

Well, now that I have found them AND hung them on the hook with my lawn mower key, I will now look dorky as I mow the lawn or do other loud activities for, you see,

I don't want to take my hearing for granted any more.

I want to be able to hear the music, the voices, and the myriad of sounds that will come my way in the future.

And so, because of this, I will be plugging my ears to guard against and prevent any hearing loss that I can possibly protect.

I want to proclaim this message to anyone who wears ear buds and blasts the music or movie directly into sensitive ears.

I hope they hear it - if they can - before it is too late.