The Challenge: Find a place to sit quietly for ten minutes. Listen for at least one sound that you would not have normally noticed.
I decided to sit on a bench in a nearby park, which overlooks an open field. It is a very peaceful place. I’ve gone there before to sit before but this time was very different, it was sans my iPod. There were many obvious sounds — cars driving by, the far off sound of vehicles on the highway, birds, dogs barking, more dogs, more birds, more cars…then I heard it: the THUMP of a basketball against the backboard….THUMP. It was very faint and seemed to be far away, but it was a very distinct sound and upon hearing it I was immediately whisked back to my driveway growing up on Shady Lane. All of the games of PIG and HORSE…all of the missed shots. That sound was very familiar to me. It’s funny, had I heard the “swoosh,” I don’t think I would’ve been “whisked back.”
I like going on walks. In my estimation, running is only good for those times when you’re being chased by a puma. But pumas are pretty fast, so even then it comes up useless.
Anyway, I usually take a walk in the morning, and there is a little park in the neighborhood behind our place. I decided to sit there for a while. At first I could only hear the annoying din of “worldly” sounds: the hum of distant city traffic, a jet flying overhead, a garbage truck making its rounds. Eventually, I started to notice the squirrels playing in the brush nearby. And then I heard the birds. In the beginning, there was only one generic “bird” sound, but it wasn’t long before I could start to make out different species. Three, maybe four unique bird calls (including a Northern Cardinal?) arranged themselves in a chorus that heralded the coming of spring.
It reminded me of how easy it is to get caught up in the world; in the stresses of life. But if we can sit our butts down for ten minutes, a whole new world emerges right from under us. The happy songs of the birds gave me a feeling of peace, and reminded me of the time when Jesus said:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…Consider the birds: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
The birds did seem pretty happy about things, and as much as I enjoy walking, I was happy that I took the time to just sit.
Dark Room Confessionals:
Bonus Video: Kim | Jason
So, who was most creative with today’s challenge? Who went beyond the comfort zone and put the biggest hammer on Adultitis? Who did a better job of capturing the spirit of childhood, Kim or Jason? Cast Your Vote!
Tomorrow’s Challenge: Audio Sneak Peek
I went outside behind an office building I was working at – right near the highway, so the most predominant sound was cars going by. I sat in the gazebo behind the building to see if I could hear anything else….heard dry leaves being blown by the wind, those both still on trees & those on the ground. Hard to believe that in Feb. there are dried leaves on the ground in WI, but I digress. Paper blown behind me through the crackling leaves, but then I got up to walk & I heard more sounds – motorcycle from other direction, disiel engine on truck, footsteps on pavement, but then I stopped & listened…& heard a very faint clanking, but I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. The wind was too strong for me it to be the flagpole that was on the other side of another building. Then I went closer to the lamppost & leaned my ear up against it. Sure enough, there was a cable inside rattling around – it did sound like flag rope as it hits its pole. This was a very fascinating experience! I think I’ll have to try it again sometime.
I took some quiet time in my room today. I listened very carefully and heard lots of the usual sounds – dogs barking, a plane flying through the air, a truck far off in the distance, the pipes in our house – but instead of being annoyed by them (or some of them at least), I just took them all in as the background for that moment.
So I took my ten minute silent time at the mall. I found a bench in on of the center areas and concentrated on listening to all the levels of sounds – people walking & talking, chimes sounding as people entered stores, strollers rolling along, kids laughing/crying/yelling. I also heard a humming noise which I believe was the heating system, a jangling of keys as the mall cop strolled by and then, then I heard whistling. It wasn’t a tune I was familiar with but it was a very pretty melody. I waited and looked around until I spotted him – a custodial serviceman. He was probably 60 years old or so, pushing along his cart and whistling away, a smile on his face. He reminded me of my grandfather who used to whistle while he took his walks and also when he was down in his workshop.
Last Saturday I was invited to son Jason’s surprise B-party. My middle son and his wife were in the middle of having their third child that day so Linda and I took the 2 girls with us to the party. We all had a blast and old and young, old friends and new friends really made for a special day. We stayed way longer than I thought we would. So after the party we had a 75 minute ride back to the girls home in the family mini van. We were about half way home when I heard this unfamiliar sound coming from the back of the van. It was 3-1/2 year old Kerrigan snooring. Now kids don’t snore like us big folks. We have it down to a gross body function. You all know what I mean. The ones that are really bad are when a person takes a deep breath and then silence…. OK now exhale or the snore that sounds like someone just buried their nose in pudding, you know all that spoot sound inside.
Well kids have that soft snore that sounds peaceful and I think I saw some z’s floating towards the front of the van.
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I think that it is wonderful that you are paying attention to life. God gave us these amazing senses to take it all in, yet so often we fail to tune in.
Best wishes on your continuing journey!