Attuned to the Sounds of Dusk

White noise — cars flying by on the distant freeway, the rhythmic chirping of the birds, a gentle hum, as if the endless sounds in a single moment of daily life act as the ebb and flow of the Earth’s breath.

White light constitutes a mixture of all visible wavelengths of light — all and none of life, entirely perceived at once. White noise, in comparison, includes all audible frequencies at once, a wash of sound like an ocean wave, endlessly crashing.

Daily life can feel like white noise if we don’t stop to pay attention; if we never stop to look around and notice, truly notice, the magic that surrounds us.

I left home last night and headed for the ocean. Sometimes I listen to music or podcasts as I walk, but these days I’m trying to go technology free more often than not.

What if you want to write something down! I tell myself as I contemplate bringing my phone. No, just go.

At first the constant stream of noise emanating from the freeway subdued all other sound — but then I tried to listen instead of only hearing.

Each wshh of sound is a person like me, not just a stream of movement. They’re in their own world as I’m in mine, here and gone, like a flash of light that moves through time.

I attuned my attention to the individual sounds of dusk — paying attention to the details and their individual meanings. I could hear the hoo of the owl, perched in a neighbor’s tree; the individual drops of water, falling from a watered plant; the familial sounds of the evening.

As I neared the beach, the color of the sky caused me to pause; the nightly occurrence of the setting sun is something to never take for granted. To live in awe means no matter what, there’s something more to live for.

There’s something beautiful to seek beyond the trivialities of the day that’s pure and attainable and real, if only we’d stop to appreciate the gift that is the setting sun.

I thought this might be the end — no need to travel further. I told myself I’d make it to the beach; so I continued on.

The tide was high and the water rolled under the highway and into the lagoon. The entire ocean took on the color of the sky: a burning dark pink that became more profound as the minutes passed.

And I almost missed this.

I almost turned back when I was close enough.

Resistance strikes strongest just before we reach the destination. 

When we feel the need to turn back and it feels we can’t take another step, we’re about to experience something magical. If only we’ll see it through.

I, and a few others stared out to the ends of the ocean, taken aback by the sheer magnitude and beauty of a normal Tuesday night.

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