This morning I woke up with a dull headache caused by one too many glasses of exquisite Grenache last night. Sarah and I had enjoyed an intimate dinner with friends outside under a string of lights. It was a joyful evening of camaraderie that celebrated the very best of what summer in Spokane has to offer. These are the moments that fill my spirit with joy.
Too much of anything however will tend to result in a hangover. This morning’s headache was one of those where every little sound is amplified. Sarah was already up and had made coffee before I rolled out of bed. Whenever one of us gets up earlier than the other and has had time to drink their first cup of coffee there is a tendency to want to jump into conversation before the other has fully pulled themselves together. This time she had been the first one up and she chatted away as I slowly entered into the living room with my first cup. I found myself saying “Shhh!” to her before taking my first sip.
Murdoch is also accustomed to getting his first frisbee session by the time I go to the kitchen for a second cup of coffee and was impatiently waiting for me to to get back on schedule as I had been rather late to the task today.
I appeased him right after I grabbed some ibuprofen and a refill. We went outside and the headache induced sensitive hearing was filled the sound of nature. It was like experiencing an audio recording with headphones on and the volume cranked up. The chickadees and nuthatches were full of life at the feeder by the plum tree. The scratching sound of squirrels chasing each other playfully up and down the branches of the pines were acute. It was like having the soundtrack of Fantasia on full blast.
Sarah came out on the deck to watch me play with Murdoch. The warm glow of morning light illuminated her beautiful smile. I didn’t have the ability to use words but I could communicate my admiration and appreciation for her with an extended return gaze and smile.
After I finished up feeding the fish and playing with Murdoch I walked around to the front porch and sat down with my coffee. Sarah came out and joined me. As we sat in silence I could hear the dry leaves rustle in the breeze. It is a beautiful sound. When a gust would blow strong enough it the circular striker would swing hard enough to tap a pipe on the Corinthian wind chimes that my mother had given us as a gift several years ago.
Sometimes the breeze would be just enough to create a single note that would float in the air and other times it would create a tap tap tap of the same note and other times there would be a progression of 2-3 tones. The sound waves penetrated my skull and chamber of my chest with a vibration that soothed my spirit.
Sarah eventually went back in the house and left me and Murdoch to sit on the porch. I sipped my coffee and we both watched as a large black beetle marched across and tried to navigate the barrier of a watering can. There was no going over it and no going under it. Finally it retreated and chose a new direction away from the obstruction.
I found myself grateful for the headache that heightened my perception of the sound of nature and the sacred sounds of wind pipes. I was grateful to not want to pick up my cell phone and check for messages and the pure pleasure that came from just sitting still and listening.