Watch & listen to the wind through trees

If you step out of the city during this Diwali week, you may be lucky enough to taste the utter pleasure of the magical sound of wind running through trees. Listening to the susurration of leaves, watching the branches bend, you are experiencing life far more subtle, far more generous and far more wondrous than the one you’re all too familiar with.

The wind is, of course, invisible. Neither is it audible. But as soon as the trees ‘catch’ the wind, we have the wind before our ears and eyes. The sound bears the English name psithurism (sith-er-ism), aptly from the ancient Greek psithuros, or whispering. It’s an audible hush.

But it is also the joy of seeing trees come alive, swaying like apsara dancers, alive to the ‘music’ of the breeze. This can be a hypnotic son et lumiere for the onlooker-onhearer, a show put up to put your mind at ease.

Listen to the wind through the treetops and you hear music of the spheres, before humankind’s raucous arrival. What is mesmerising is the rise and fall of the sound, the hiss and shush of psithurism telling us to be quiet and just listen, just see, just be.


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