August 27, 2017


Every once in a while I like to sit outside to read or think. I only do this on nice warm sunny days. We don't have a lot of months in this part of the country when this is possible, so summer is the ideal time. Recently, I decided to listen to all the different sounds that I would hear during the hour or so while I was there. It's really amazing: the sound of airplanes and helicopters, traffic, the wind, basketball dribbling, birds chirping, dogs barking, children playing, the commuter train, the leaves blowing in the breeze, the pages of a book being turned, the humming of an air conditioner, music on the radio, sirens going by, lawn mowers, motor bikes, telephones ringing, street sweepers, the beeping on trucks backing up, my own breathing, and the sound of silence itself. 

It is amazing to realize what goes on around us not only every day, but every minute. Most of which we take for granted, or don't take time to reflect on. Someday, take the time to listen to all the sounds that fill the atmosphere in your own little world. It is mind boggling. 

This same day I walked the neighborhood and came upon an older woman wheeling a shopping cart down the street collecting bottles and cans. She had at least 10 large plastic garbage bags overflowing and bursting with what she had collected. You could hardly see her because of the amount of "rubbish" she had collected. I was thinking how hard she works and how many hours she puts into this endeavor probably 7 days a week. I have no idea where she lives but it looks like this could be a major source of her income. She may be as dedicated to this "career" as many of us are to our pursuits. People may criticize those in her "profession," but this could be her reason for getting out of bed each day. It could give her life purpose. She may be alone and not have much of a support system, and no one to offer her other opportunities to channel her energy. It's all about the sights and sounds that envelope each one of us every day. Sometimes I think I'm oblivious to what goes on around me. I am surprised when someone mentions something so obvious that I just completely missed. That can happen when we are in our own little world or preoccupied with other issues. Other days like today, for some reason I am very conscious of the world and the people around me. Maybe this is what the Beatles were getting at in their song "A Day in the Life." 

Enjoy Life! 
Fr. Ron Coyne


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