Lately, I’ve been amazed at how loud the autumn leaves are. They crunch underfoot, and those left in the trees chatter as the wind blows. And then there’s the haunting whisper of a leaf as it descends–barely audible–but still vibrating whether I perceive it or not.
I stop everything and gaze at that leaf. It arrives on the ground soft and silent.
What beautiful sounds never reach my ears? If I stop and think about it, I’m hearing so many things at this exact moment I’m surprised I’m not crashing from auditory overload.
I know I’m growing older. Movie soundtracks seem too loud and assaulting. I can barely handle the frenzied circus beat of a video game. I’ve been known to scream out, “Can’t we just have some quiet?“
I want enough quiet so I can hear beautiful sounds: the purr of a cat, the clink of ice in a tall glass of water served to guests, the hush of wool socks on the hardwood floor. I want to hear the gurgle of homemade sauce simmering and the teasing fingers of the first drops of rain on the roof.
And the measured sigh a page of a book exhales when I turn it.
I take my hearing for granted. One day, I might lose it all together.
I want a beautiful soundtrack to accompany this day. I want to be still enough–aware enough–to hear it. Living with flair means I manage the auditory track. Might I be a gatekeeper for my ears and my living space? Might I create a culture of beautiful sounds in my home–the kind of sounds that delight and don’t disturb?