When listening is grieving

Years ago I lived in an old farmhouse surrounded by cows.

I'd started seeing the woman who is now my partner and she lived on a property surrounded by sheep.

One morning as we lay in bed, she made an observation that came to mind after I wrote about grieving for a changed world.

She remarked how one way cows identify their calves is by recognising the patterns on their skins.

I'm probably simplifying it but my understanding was that the brown splotches on Friesian cattle, for example, assist mothers to find their babies in the paddock.

In contrast, I think she said, sheep listen for their voices among the herd.

I've often reflected that sheep must be always keeping an ear out for the distinctive bleat of their lambs.

My partner might have been telling me this as her family at that time would slaughter their own livestock.

It led me to consider that one can look around and, if you don't see something, you might not notice it is missing.

However, I wonder if we are always listening for meaningful sounds -- such the phenomena described as "miraculous agitations" in this old post.

In doing so we might be, consciously or subconsciously, regularly reminded of loss.

Recent discussions of being sentimental for sounds from another time has been on my mind since I started noticing how many projects online and on the radio are currently focusing on recording and listening to the changes in our landscapes.