What sound relaxes you? What sound can you have in the background that you don’t need to pay attention to, don’t need to necessarily be involved or engaged with on a conscious level, but which gives you a measure of comfort and familiarity?
A baseball game. Not even knowing or caring who’s playing, who’s winning, who’s losing. Just that cadence, that rhythm, that flow. The sound brings back childhood memories of happy places, evenings spent by the radio listening to the home team on the road, back before every game of the season was on in hi-def, back before you got more than the “game of the week” on Saturday afternoon and your cellar dwelling team was never shown. The color commentator and the play-by-play guy, chatting and chewing over stats between pitches, the steady tone as we get the out of town scoreboard, the rising pitch and excitement as a towering fly goes back, back, back…
Rain. The pitter patter of a gentle but steady soaking, brushing through the leaves of the trees, bouncing off of the patio outside the door. Perhaps some peepers or croakers off in the pond or stream, advertising for a mate.
Thunderstorm! (My choice for the evening.) All of the calming joys of a rain storm, but with the crack of thunder every now and then, echoing across the hills, shifting and reverberating from all around as the storm slowly moves past.
Surf. The constant and never ending cascading of water in motion, running out of time and space as a continent gets in the way.
Air traffic control. A newer one, related in spirit to the baseball game, but now also a happy place that I long to return to, the left seat of an aircraft and the skies where I need to be on my game and ready to join in that snappy technical repartee to safely get from here to there. It’s almost another language, a secret tongue that only those who work and earn their way can learn to speak and be spoken to. Listening is like listening to a radio station in a foreign tongue, one you once knew by have now forgotten through a lack of use, but one which is starting to come back by osmosis as you let the white noise in the background seep into your pores.