I was watching one of my favourite (I am slightly ashamed to say) series earlier today, (yes that is me moving on without mentioning it) and a line, as normally does, stood out to me. It wasnt particularly poetic, or well written but when I thought about it some more, in fact it was just that.
“What do you hear? Nothing but the rain…” Nothing but the rain. Rain, god isn’t it a beautiful sound? That shimmering sound of the rain falling, splashing on the ground, the feel of your feet as they jumped into a puddle, or the rain on your skin. The sound of a storm at your window, the wind careering around, the trees swishing in the breeze, the thunder rumbling far away, the flashes of lightning… The sound of rain on a conservatory roof, loud and hammering, like fingers drumming a table.
What’s your happy noise? Something that you hear and love. Music is an obvious one but that’s emotive in its substance, I’m talking about something, natural, something that just is. My friend loves the sound of a wood burning fire, the crackle of and splinter of the wood, the roar of the flames up the chimney, the smell of burning embers. Another loves the sound of the sea lapping on a shore, calm and tranquil, another the sound of someone breathing softly when they cuddle them, the sound of their heart beating deep within them, their stomach gurgling, feeling them, alive as she put it.
We use so little of our senses, we rely on our eyes to see too much for us, our ears for simple communication, not to enjoy life. What about the sense of smell… it’s always overlooked, and for me its my most powerful. The smell of bread being cooked, of fresh filter coffee, of clean linen…. of rain. And there we are full circle, but that’s just it. We don’t really use our sense as we should, as a sensory experience. How much more fulfilling would life be if we really took in our surroundings, really appreciated what was there, as a sensory exploration.
Like touch, for intimacy its an obvious, but when do you think about how things feel. This is partly where my obsession with taking off my shoes comes from, feeling the surface beneath you, touching fabrics and materials with your fingers. I love the feel of the keys on my keyboard bouncing under my fingers, tingling the tips of them as they dance over them. I love the feel of worn out leather sofas, soft and wrinkled, the feel of skin, soft and downy.
Think about a place that makes you feel really, good. Comfortable, at home, safe. What is it about that place? It can’t just be the surroundings, the interior, or exterior – the visual. In fact I would hazard to bet its other things that make it special. As I child I liked sitting on a tree branch. It wasn’t particularly high, but it had smoothed where people had sat, the bark soft and smoothed, and then next to it, rough, flaky, dry. I used to run my fingers over the cracks, swinging my legs. Lay back and smell the bark, the moss, the fresh air outside, sheltered by the leaves from the day. It wasn’t an attractive tree, it wasn’t a nice view when you sat there, but it wasn’t about what I was seeing. It was just sitting, eyes closed, enjoying it.
I left out taste, for me, its something we do naturally, and something that we all appreciate. Whether its our favourite drink, our favourite treat, Mum’s home cooked meals, or a sugary delight, we all have things that we love, and we appreciate.For me it’s not so much about the taste, but the texture. A crème brulee wouldn’t be as perfect without its silky smooth texture, a cake without its fluffiness, a peach without its, fleshiness, or a carrot without its crunch.
As you’re enjoying something, somewhere, a moment, think about all the little things, that make it that much more special. Next time your sat quietly, doing something, nothing, out for a walk or just spending some time by yourself, take a moment, take everything in. Listen, intently to whats around you. Breathe in the scents in the air, the subtle tones that dance around us, feel where you’re sat, the wind on your skin if you’re out, a plant as you walk past. We live in an incredibly rich world, we are surrounded by incredible things to appreciate.
Lets, take the time to do so. Just for a minute.