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The Earth Has Music for Those Who Listen

Updated: Feb 1

Have you ever heard the quote "The earth has music for those who listen"? Do you know who said it, and what it means? If not, you are not alone...

music sheet with flowers

The Earth Has Music For Those Who Listen Full Quote

This quote, often attributed to Shakespeare or George Santayana, carries a sense of wonder and appreciation for the beauty of nature. However, recent discoveries have revealed that the true author of this quote is an unknown poet named Reginald Holmes, who penned it as part of his poem, "The Magic of Sound."

"The earth has its music for those who will listen;

Its bright variations forever abound.

With all of the wonders that God has bequeathed us,

There’s nothing that thrills like the magic of sound."

Holmes, Reginald Vincent (1955)

But regardless of who said it, the quote itself is a beautiful and profound statement about being present and attentive to the small and ordinary things that make life beautiful, such as the sound of birdsong, the sight of a rainbow, or rain on sidewalks.

What is the Music of the Earth?

The music of the earth is the natural sound that emanates from the earth, and the living beings that inhabit it. It is the sound of the wind, the rain, the waves, the birds, the insects, the animals, and the plants. It is the sound that reflects the cycles, seasons, and patterns of nature. It is the sound that expresses the diversity, richness, and complexity of life.

The music of the earth is not only audible, but also visible, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory. It is the color of the sky, the sun, the moon, and the stars. It is the texture of the soil, the sand, the rocks, and the leaves. It is the smell of the flowers, the fruits, the herbs, and the spices. It is the taste of the water, the honey, the salt, and the sugar.

The music of the earth is not only physical, but also mental, emotional, and spiritual. It is the feeling of awe, wonder, joy, and gratitude. It is the thought of connection, harmony, balance, and meaning. It is the spirit of creativity, inspiration, wisdom, and healing.

The music of the earth is everywhere, and it is for everyone. It is a universal language that transcends boundaries, cultures, and times. It is a gift that we can receive, enjoy, and share. It is a source that we can learn, appreciate, and protect.

The quote "The earth has music for those who listen" suggests that nature has its own music, its own language that can only be understood by those who truly listen. It implies that nature is not silent, but full of sounds that can enchant, soothe, or inspire us. It also implies that listening to nature is not a passive or trivial activity, but an active and meaningful one that can enrich our lives and nourish our souls.

But how can we listen to the music of the earth? How can we tune in to the natural sounds that surround us?

Here are some tips and ideas on how to practice this skill and enjoy its benefits:

Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit, preferably outdoors, where you can hear the sounds of nature. You can choose a place that you like, such as a park, a forest, a field, or a garden. You can also try different places at different times of the day, such as dawn, noon, or dusk.

Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax your body and mind. You can also use a mantra, such as "I am calm" or "I am present", to focus your attention and intention.

Start by listening to the sounds that are closest to you, such as your own breathing, heartbeat, or movements. Then, gradually expand your awareness to the sounds that are farther away, such as the wind, the rain, or the animals. Try to identify the sources and directions of the sounds, and notice how they change over time.

Pay attention to the details and nuances of the sounds, such as the pitch, volume, rhythm, or tone. Try to appreciate the diversity and harmony of the sounds, and how they create a unique and beautiful melody. You can also imagine that you are a composer or a musician, and that you are creating or playing the music of the earth.

Listen with curiosity and openness, without judging or analyzing the sounds. Don't try to label or categorize the sounds, or to attach any meaning or emotion to them. Just listen to them as they are, and let them speak to you in their own way.

Listen with gratitude and respect, without interrupting or disturbing the sounds. Don't try to change or control the sounds, or to impose your own expectations or preferences on them. Just listen to them as they are, and thank them for their presence and gift.

Listening to the music of the earth can have many benefits for your well-being, happiness, and fulfillment. It can help you to:

• Reduce stress and anxiety, by calming your nervous system and lowering your blood pressure.

• Improve your mood and creativity, by stimulating your brain and releasing endorphins.

• Enhance your focus and memory, by sharpening your senses and attention span.

• Deepen your connection and appreciation, by fostering a sense of awe and wonder, and a feeling of belonging and harmony.

But what if you live in a city? What if you are surrounded by concrete, steel, and glass, rather than trees, flowers, and grass? What if you are bombarded by noise, traffic, and pollution, rather than silence, breeze, and freshness? What if you are caught up in the fast, busy, and stressful pace of urban life, rather than the slow, calm, and peaceful rhythm of rural life?

Can you still listen to the music of the earth in the city? Can you still find beauty, harmony, and wonder in the urban jungle? Can you still enjoy the benefits of slow living in the city?

The answer is yes.

You can listen to the music of the earth in the city, and you can enjoy slow living in the city. You just need to know how to do it, and why to do it.

How to Listen to the Music of the Earth in the City?

Listening to the music of the earth in the city may seem like a paradox, or even an impossibility. After all, the city is often seen as the opposite of nature, the enemy of the earth, the source of noise, chaos, and destruction. How can you listen to the music of the earth in the city, when the city seems to drown out, disrupt, or silence it?

The truth is, the music of the earth is not absent from the city, but hidden, muted, or overlooked. The city is not devoid of nature, but full of it, in different forms, shapes, and sizes. The city is not only a place of noise, chaos, and destruction, but also a place of sound, order, and creation.

You can listen to the music of the earth in the city, if you know where to look, how to listen, and what to do. Here are some ways to do it:

1. Lunchtime in the Park: Ditch the desk for a park bench. Close your eyes, feel the sun on your face, and listen. Notice the rustling leaves whispering secrets, the chirping sparrows gossiping in the trees, the distant rumble of traffic weaving its bassline, the laughter of children playing, the distant bark of a dog. This is nature's lunchtime concert, a free ticket to a symphony of the everyday.

2. Rain Dance: Don't rush for cover when the first drops fall. Stand outside, let the rain dance on your skin, its rhythm a drumbeat against the cityscape. Listen to the raindrops drumming on leaves, their patter a lullaby sung by the city's trees. In the rain, the city becomes a canvas for the earth's art, a temporary oasis where concrete and nature merge.

3. Coffee Shop Symphony: Forget the headphones. Put down your phone, close your eyes, and immerse yourself in the cafe's soundtrack. The hiss of the espresso machine, the clinking of spoons, the murmur of conversations – it's a jazz ensemble of urban life. This is the city's heartbeat, a reminder that we're all part of something bigger.

4. Window Box Opera: Transform your window box from a plant graveyard to a stage for nature's drama. Watch the bees buzz their bumblebee opera, the butterflies flutter their silent ballet, the spiders weave their intricate webs. This is the city's miniature theater, a reminder that even the smallest spaces can hold magic.

5. Barefoot Walk: Take off your shoes and feel the earth beneath your feet. Walk on the dewy grass in a park, the cool earth sending shivers up your spine. Let the cobblestones speak to you, their worn grooves telling tales of time and tide.


The quote encourages us to view nature as a boundless source of inspiration, a wellspring of creativity, and a reservoir of joy. The quote truly captures the essence of the magic that surrounds us, inviting us to listen attentively and immerse ourselves in the enchanting symphony of the natural world.

Ultimately, what the Earth whispers is up to each of us to hear. It is a symphony waiting to be composed, a story waiting to be written, a secret waiting to be unraveled. The key is to listen, with open hearts and minds, and allow the Earth's music to wash over us, leaving an indelible mark on our souls and forever changing our perception of our place in the universe.

...are you ready to step outside and start listening? 🎶


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Earth Has Music for Those Who Liste

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