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You can hear delight

February 4, 2021

Close your eyes and listen.

Take away the sense of sight and just concentrate on what enters your ears.

Hear anything in particular? Or is it silent? Do you pay attention to that ambient sound that surrounds us in our lives? Or do you tune it out as the white noise that our minds tell us it is?

I don’t think we pay close enough attention to what we hear.

Right now, I’m hearing the dull but insistent roar of the wind outside. We just had a cold front move through, and with its’ passing are gales of cold Arctic air. The metallic clang of wind chimes hanging from the pergola above our back deck seem to be ringing in protest. It’s going to be cold tonight and Mother Nature is saying so.

I also hear sounds of dialog from a movie that Kat is watching on her iPad atop our bed. Our bedroom is 50 feet from where I type this, but I turned the TV off to write, so it’s relatively quiet now.

None of these sounds are particularly delightful to me, but I can certainly think of ones that are. Maybe you can too. Close your eyes and think. Here’s a few of mine:

The sound of rain gently falling, as heard from an open window, preferably while laying in bed.

That ‘zip-zop zip-zop zip-zop’ sound that your legs make as one walks in corduroy pants. I wore them as part of my uniform every day of grade school. Comforting and warm.

The ‘POP!’ of a cork being pulled from a wine bottle. What follows is usually enjoyable also. Same goes for the ‘pssht’ when opening a bottle of beer.

The lonesome moan of a distant train whistle. So atmospheric and moody. Gives me chills.

When I close the glove compartment of my car, it makes the most satisfying ‘click’ I have ever heard. Feels so substantial, too.

The quiet of an empty church long before the parishioners arrive. Or long after they leave. That’s spiritual.

Not only does bacon taste heavenly, it also sizzles beautifully when fried in an iron skillet.

Whispers, especially of tantalizing secrets told to you because someone trusts you.

The metallic cling-clang a coin makes when inserted into a vending machine and the ‘thunk’ the can of soda makes when it’s dispensed.

The ever-so-satisfying ‘crack’ of a baseball bat as a hitter sends one soaring.

When I was younger, I used to ride my bike to O’Hare Field and stand directly in line with the runway as the jets roared to a landing over my head. As long as there wasn’t much wind, I could clearly hear the sound of the wingtip vortices–little horizontal tornados of air–sounding like cloth sheets being torn right next to you. And always at least 5 seconds after the aircraft had passed. The first time I heard it I had no idea what it was. Ghostly.

The incredibly distinctive ‘snap’ that Stewart Copeland gets out of his snare drum during the song ‘Hungry For You’ by The Police.

And of course–silence. Absolute stillness. Delightful. Did you hear it?

Can you hear the sound this just made?
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