The steady crunch of my rubber-soled shoes echoes down the trail as I leisurely tread down the weather-beaten path in North Carolina. The warbling chirp of birds breaks through the crisp morning air, and the morning sunrise noiselessly greets me with her bright warmth. The scene is perfect, and my heart is aglow with love for the scenery and that moment of pure bliss.
Even now, as I rewatch that video snippet from my junior year spring break, I am transported to that moment of peace, of clarity, of unhindered joy.
What made that moment so blissful, one might ask? Was it the effortlessly beautiful scenery that tugged at my heart? Was it the fact that I traveled and took a spontaneous break from the repetitive schedule of school life? To be fair, each of those aspects did play a role in the happiness of the moment, but the true source of my joy was the sound, the sound of springtime.
I think more so than any of my other senses I love hearing. I love the sound of a summer bonfire crackling against the black silence of the evening. I love the sound of laughter, like when friends reunite after time apart, bouncing off each other’s energy in a moment of pure joy. I love the sound of music pumping through my car’s horrible sound system as I drive to summer cross country practices with my windows down. I love the sound of Louis Armstrong’s “La vie en rose,” a song that melts my heart with its soothing serenity.
I’m in love with the sounds of life.
And for me, I live and remember my big moments– both the highs and the lows– through their sounds. My sophomore year, as I toed the starting line at the regional meet, the race where I got my personal best time in my event, I was scared out of my mind. Tears pricked my eyes out of stress and fear as I looked hopelessly at my tough competitors and the long race I had ahead of me.
When the starting gun sounded, I was off, struggling to breathe as I got more and more anxious; but unraveling the knot of tension and stress clenched in my chest were the cheers of teammates and coaches. It was those cheers of my track family that kept me going, counteracting the effect of the starting gun’s terrifying bang on me.
I’m in love with the ease and love sounds bring with them.
Have you ever seen one of those videos where deaf people hear for the first time ever? Watching the reactions of the patients as their ears suddenly are subject to the noises around them, finally fully aware of their surroundings, is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. As the tear stream down their faces in gratitude for the audiologists and for the euphony that hearing people take for granted, the look they give the camera is priceless.
At that moment, all that they’ve dreamed of is coming true, and the beauty of sound is so much more than anything they could’ve ever imagined.
I’m in love with the joyous nature of sound.