I dropped one of my teenage sons off at a baseball field for warm-ups before a game, and headed back down a two lane road to an old store we had passed on the way to the baseball field. The store was built in the 1800s, back when horse and mule drawn wagons used the road. I had seen some rockers on the front porch of the store. I had an hour before game time, so I thought it would be a good time to get a cup of coffee and sit in a rocker for a while.
The porch was no more than thirty feet from the road, but only occasionally did a vehicle go by. The area was silent but for the breeze, a chime that hung from a rafter that the wind caught a little, and the call of some birds. I heard a crow’s caw some distance away, the sound of a mockingbird somewhere across the road in some trees, and some crickets in grass by the porch. A rock truck came rumbling by, humming tires, weight, and engine power muscling down the road. A car or two whizzed by. The vehicles’ sounds knocked out the scene and quiet for a moment, and as soon as they passed, the sounds of quiet returned, doing what sounds of quiet do.
Sounds and sights all around us. The human made and the other. In the other are the fundamental sounds and sights of life that place us where we are, offering us an opportunity to pay attention to life, our own and life itself. They are a gift that can take us to memories, the experience of the present, and the future all at once. They can let us appreciate, wonder, and open up longings within us. They can bring gratitude and even inspiration. They are basics, have nothing to do with our own making, but are ours for the taking. They do not disturb. They beckon. They beckon us to stop and notice. They offer a symphonic backdrop to take us to resting, thinking slowly, and feeling.