Yesterday was the first day that I’ve gone swimming since last summer. The water to my parents pool was still not clear but it was a nice turquoise color. I’ve never been a good swimmer but I’ve always loved swimming. You don’t have to be good at something to like it. Ever since I was little and our small town had finally gotten a community pool, I’ve loved the feeling of swimming all day and being exhausted all night. I remember swimming from the time we arrived until the life guards blew their final whistles. My skin was tight and dry from soaking in the chlorine and absorbing the sun. I would lay on my sun drenched towel until I was just dry enough to get in moms car. We would go home and I would make a fuss about not wanting to take a bath because I was just so worn out from kicking my legs and rowing my arms all day long. Once I was clean I could finally relax and sleep would come faster than ever.
As I was laying out yesterday, bathing in the sun, I discovered something I had never thought of before. I became very mindful of my surroundings. Having our very own pool is so much different than being at a pool with fifty other people (we live in a very small town). A few miles from our house and just right outside of main street is a little private airport. Until yesterday I had just realized that I’ve grown up with these little planes flying over me my whole life. Most people live in bigger towns or huge cities with all sorts of commotion going on all the time. In our little spot of the world those planes are as noisy as it gets. Maybe it’s because I’ve listened to them for so long but they’re sort of relaxing to hear. The hum of their engines descending to the mini airport is just as hypnotizing as a fan.
When there was a break in between the planes landing I noticed the sweet sound of the birds all around me. Their chirping was chaotic and rhythmic all at the same time. If I closed my eyes it sounded like a natural melody made only for me. The smell of the fresh cut grass complimented the outdoor song so well. Softly in the background the rustling trees whispered to themselves. Even the soft vibration of the air conditioning kicking on blended delightfully.
The sun was just warm enough to cover my skin in a masking blanket of rays. Not too hot not too cold. Dipping my hand in the water and running it through my fingers felt like a lukewarm masterpiece. The noise the water made is special specifically in the summer. It’s not a hard drop or a soft mist, it’s a silky miniature wave. Occasionally a car would roar past the house and disrupt the symphony of the pool side but once it was gone the orchestra continued to play.
There’s a concert playing everywhere if you listen. You have to stop what you’re doing and really listen. It’s not like a band you pay for tickets to see, it’s free to those who want to hear it. When you’re walking down the street or at work or at a restaurant there’s always a beat, a score, it’s always there. So step outside and open your ears. Give your surroundings a listen. Some are harsh like a rock band and others a soft like a lullaby. Just stop, breathe, and enjoy.