Some summer sounds certainly seem sweet. What was the best sound you ever heard? For me it was more than one sound, it was like an orchestra being played every summer evening during that unforgettable time in my life when I had just recently lost half a dozen of the best friends I had ever had. Crickets chirped, cars occasionally whizzed by, dogs barked in the distance, a train honked a horn. They sounded more beautiful than at any other time because I had spent the whole month meditating after work, a new thing for me.
I was in my mid-twenties, single and living in a little one bedroom apartment not far from a train track. The horn of that train always brought back happy memories for me and was very comforting. But about my friends….
It just so happened that during those years I had made friends with half a dozen of the most fun and interesting people I had ever met. We were very close, sort of like the TV show Friends, or Cheers, the little bar where everybody knows your name.
They were the kind of people who could drop by any time and we would have a wonderful time, with plenty of laughter, bantering and fun stories. But during a three or four month period, some of them got married and disappeared from our little gang, the others moved out of town. Suddenly I had no close friends at all.
I had to find something to do with my time, so I took walks at the nearby park. I began to meditate on the good things in life that I still had, even though it was tough to lose my friends. At first it was hard to think of things to feel grateful for. But the more I thought and felt grateful for a few things, the more things came to mind that I could be grateful for.
Sometimes after an evening of meditation and prayer, the sounds of the night seemed like a beautiful orchestra being played for everyone who was willing to take the time to stop and enjoy the sounds.
It is late summer here in the northern hemisphere (I love reading blogs from down under where spring is blooming). Even now I hear the crickets chirping, the comforting sound of a fan and my neighbor’s air conditioner humming. Those sounds bring back the feelings of that Kansas summer that I learned to be thankful no matter what, and that I really could be happy even in the toughest of times.