The Quiet Music of Simple Things
We take so many things for granted as we spin through this world, oblivious to the soft music all around us. So much of our time is spent caught up in jobs, duties, politics – the slings and arrows of this world that assail us all too often – that we forget to listen to the gentle notes playing in the background. I was surprised at how difficult it was for me to remember, remember my life before I was pulled down by so many heavy burdens, so many important tasks. I couldn’t even remember the last time I stopped and acknowledged some simple melody of life. Do you even remember what you really enjoy? Think hard. How easy it is to forget the tune of it. To let that music slip away like so many tears in the rain.
The sound of rain
As I write this rain is falling in California. Our first rain in many months. Blessed relief from a drought that has devastated much of the state. The Grizzlies went for a walk through that rain tonight. Mr. and Mrs. Grizzly pushing our little cub. Talking of simple things, unconcerned with the world. As we walked I watched the raindrops fall through the gleam of Halloween lights on the houses in our neighborhood. A few jack-o-lantern’s already have candles in them, flickering lights illuminating the night. We walked through that gentle mist and I was reminded of so many things.
Days spent in my childhood huddled with books while thunder crashed on the Kansas Prairie. Or warm July showers that just invited you to run through them. A football game in the fall, rain beating down on helmets, mud covering us, but reveling in the awesome fun of it all. But more than anything I’m reminded of all those nights I spent lying in bed simply listening to the simple music of rain, that sound of life, as a storm passed. Our little walk through the mist reminded me of that simple melody, those notes that I had almost forgotten.
Forests in fall
I remembered the majesty of forests in the fall. The rustle of dry leaves as you sprint through them. When I was in college, I liked nothing more than to go on long runs through the woods around campus. We had a path that ran adjacent to a nearby lake and I could run for hours, uninterrupted by any concern. In fall those woods exploded with color – deep reds, brilliant oranges, and electric yellows.The canopy was reflected in the glassy waters of the lake, framing a crystal blue sky in two worlds, one above and one below. Like living fire spread across the hills, the woods spread out around me as I ran through the world and marveled at the beauty. A melody that plays every year as the forest sheds its life for the long dark of winter.
I remembered the soft starlight of desert nights. I spent several years in the desert during the second Iraq war. There were many long days in scorching temperatures, but also many long nights spent under a field of stars. Stars winking in and out as if to some unheard harmony playing in the distance. I remember gazing up into that majesty, comforted by the fact that there is still such high beauty in the world, untouched by the darkness that sometimes inflicts our world. I remember being lost in those night skies for a few blessed hours. Those nights were quiet, no sound pierced my thoughts. I was able to gaze up, undisturbed, at that simple music of the night’s sky.
A simple melody
It is critical that we remember these simple notes as we weave our way through life. They are all too often lost in the din and chaos of our world, drowned out by the demands of hectic schedules and punishing jobs. We have to remember it is these simple melodies that bring us joy. Pay attention to those themes of life, those harmonies playing in the background. They are notes that are often difficult to hear.