I decided to take this afternoon’s walk sans headphones, so I could listen to what was going on around me. I needed the quiet, I surmised, so that I could clear out some of the jumble in my head and mostly in my soul.
I wanted to listen, to pay attention, to be mindful (whatever that word means, with all its baggage). I wanted to notice.
I wanted to listen to the quiet.
I heard the whirring hum of mountain bike tires on the concrete trail.
I heard the gentle rustle of leaves as the afternoon breeze blew.
I heard the busy sounds of bugs and birds.
I heard the chatter of walkers and kayakers.
I heard the dreams and plans of lovers and friends.
I heard the soothing static of rapids at the end of the trail.
I heard my own footsteps padding upon the pavement.
I heard the silky slither of a snake through the sand, into the weeds at the water’s edge.
I heard interstate traffic whizzing by, oblivious, as though this trail, this piece of near-solitude didn’t even exist.
I heard my own breath. I heard my own heartbeat.
I heard my soul whisper in prayer that this was good, if only for a few moments.