July 28, 2014

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Listening to the dark

Have you ever noticed how the sense of listening seemingly comes into play more in darkness than it does in light?

Sometimes, this is due to a sense of danger. Our car breaks down on an obscure road and another vehicle pulls up behind us to assist. The first thing we listen for is the familiarity of the voice of the one approaching.

A jogging athlete caught in descending darkness suddenly becomes tuned to sounds of animals, passing vehicles or approaching footsteps. A child tucked into bed often “hears” things not perceived when light is available in the same environment. It’s amazing how darkness can shift our focus from the sense of light to hearing.