Awhile back, I made my annual pilgrimage to Discovery Cove in Orlando. Those of you who have been journeying along with me over the past several years know that I originally visited this dolphin adventuring, sting ray swimming, lazy river flowing day resort as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I enjoyed it so much and found it so reinvigorating, I began going every year as a kind of Terri Time retreat. I go by myself. I use the time alone to ponder, pray, and play. Each time I go, I learn something different.
This trip, my attention focused on the sounds. I often closed my eyes and let my mind wander around the world of the audio. I heard the music of the birds. I heard the slap of water shoes traveling along pathways. I heard flamingos gossiping and cackling. I heard tin drums. I heard people laughing. I heard the ropes of hammocks creaking as they swayed. I heard dolphins squeaking. I heard the fins of sting rays skim through the surface of the water.
I think some people are more “in tune” with the audial than others. I have musical friends who I think have long found whole universes in melodies. They say people who are blind discern more information from their sense of hearing. I have read monks and nuns who live in relative silence can appreciate sounds that most of us never hear. When there is no talking, it is probably easier to hear what God is whispering.
Since I was alone during my Dolphin Day retreat, I was not talking to anyone much. I listened and spoke with the dolphin trainer who was facilitating my dolphin interaction. I talked with a few servers. In general, though, my day was filled with my quiet. I wanted to discover what there was to hear besides words. It was very peaceful.
I discovered you can hear wind rustling through plants. It sounds like wrapping a present. I discovered you can hear pebbles crunch under people’s feet. It sounds like eating popcorn. I discovered you can hear wet sand squish between your toes. It sounds like rubbing two pieces of corduroy together. I discovered you can hear happiness. It sounds like laughter. I discovered you can hear God. He sounds like sunshine feels.
I did not completely forsake words. As I was floating gently along a lazy river with my eyes closed, I focused on the exclamations of the people around me. I wanted to learn what they were discovering. One little boy was clearly exalting in his day of discovery. As he floated near, I heard him cry, “Mom, Mom…. I see a gecko!”
In the midst of swimming with sting rays, playing with dolphins, and parading with flamingoes, this little boy decided his big discovery for the day was a gecko. This probably was not the kind of discovery Mom had in mind when she plunked down several hundreds of dollars for a day at Discovery Cove. If it were, I could make millions selling day passes to my backyard. But good for him! Discovering joy sounds different for each of us.
Have a joyful day!
What sounds bring you joy and why? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.