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As far back as I can remember, music has filled the air that I breathe.
Music of all genres, from vastly diverse decades and eras.
My family would sing along with the lyrics or hum to the beat, sometimes in tune, but more often than not, way off-key. Our fingers would be snapping, toes a tapping, and dancing about could, and usually would, inevitably ensue.
We’d forget what we were tackling, responsibilities cast aside, and find ourselves catapulted from our chores to the kitchen table. Cups of tea were poured, and we laughed at our recall of the words, totally making up our own lyrics as we sang.
When I drove, music blared, stereo pumping. My car would be bouncing down the street, my voice filling the interior, and fingers tapping on the steering wheel.
When home, music was the sound of choice. Never a television or untainted silence, there had to be music playing—music that was dependent on my mood. Pumping that jam when I needed a lift or light classical when focus was required.
Music to start the day. Music to get through the day. Music to end the day that often played through the night in my youth.
Music for happiness, sadness, and everything in between. Music was life.
And it remains an enormous part of my existence. Please don’t misunderstand, but what I’ve noticed is a gradual yet instrumental shift in my choice of music, so to speak.
I recall many an evening over the past several years when I turned on the music, only to flip that switch off moments later. I had grown to prefer the sounds that filled the night air, such as crickets and tree frogs, the hoot of an owl, or a bobcat screeching. The distant sound of a car or siren, all soothing in their own unique way.
Weekend mornings now mirror my evenings, welcoming the sound of birds happily chirping, celebrating the dawn. As the day moves on, the buzz of an insect, or the dull hum of a lawn mower. Children laughing, the hammering of nails, and wind rustling the leaves on the trees.
There is a peace that fills the air.
I was reminded of this as I sat out on my parents’ deck in the earlier hours of the day, savoring a gentle breeze, the songs of nature, and the indecipherable voices of neighbors tending to their daily chores.
It was just the perfect background music that shifted my thinking to a meditative-like trance, nothing but the present, tranquil moments at hand.
Then from the kitchen, Dean Martin crooned loudly through the window, volume turned to maximum, his melodious voice hitting me like a kick in the head (pun intended) shocking me back to reality.
In that instant, I realized how much the natural sounds of life have come to mean to me. How much I crave them, each having a rhythm of its own and lyrics that I have come to know so well.
No instruments. No words. No television. Nothing but the sounds of nature and life’s activities fill the air.
What solace they provide, a symphony of sorts that quiets the mind, feeds the soul, and nourishes the spirit.
Ah, they’re playing my song.