My morning hikes are filled with music. My iPod sings my favorite songs to me the entire loop of Jim Green Trail. Everything from James Taylor to Janelle Monae. I tend to be moody about what music I’m into on any given day, so I often fastforward through songs I don’t believe are speaking to me or have the right energy for that day’s walk. I hear the opening few notes, nix it and tap the arrow to move ahead to something more acceptable. It’s mine to control, so why should I have to suffer tunes that aren’t floating my boat?
Early in this morning’s hike I caught myself clicking through a string of Beatles songs. As each began I hurried them along to something else, impatient to find that diddy that sang to my heart and my soul perfectly in that very moment. I noticed because they are all songs I adore and my resistance seemed unusual. Still, I kept clicking. Four or five songs in, the perfect one still foiling me, I stopped. I let that song sing, and the next, and then I surrendered to the iPod. I decided that whatever came up for the rest of the walk I would let it play in its entirety and, in its own time, move on.
Just for fun, click here for a little Lionel Richie inspiration. Don’t forget to let the music play on, play on, play on…
Song after song played as a perfect reaction to the thoughts and memories floating through my morning self, and I laughed at the perfection of it all. As I recalled wake-up time with my son, Sting sang Something The Boy Said. As I emerged from a more wooded area to an opening near the golf course, The Beatles announced it with Here Comes the Sun. I looked at the dusty, drought-weary trail and sent out a wish for rain just as Jarle Bernhoft began Ever Since I Was a Little Kid, and suddenly I was transported to the loop trail of Seattle’s Discovery Park where I used to hike all winter through the mud and a steady drizzle and listened to that then-recent purchase.
I let the water refresh me as I watched two squirrels race up one mossy California Oak, jump across to the next and titter down its twisted trunk, taunting each other for their own squirrel-ish reasons. I took my headphones off and the rising breeze through the tree grove serenaded me as I rounded the final bend of the trail. The orchestrated bleats from the goat farm across the pasture accompanied the last few steps to my car.
I sat quietly, the iPod already on the passenger seat, as I contemplated my day. This friendly but firm reminder was so simple, and if I hadn’t let it play out, I would have missed it entirely. I drove toward home and whatever the day held, knowing I wouldn’t fastforward through those tasks I thought weren’t important or people I didn’t care to interact with. Each one arrives as a perfectly timed opportunity, an experience, a healing, a lesson that is lost if I don’t accept it with gratitude and allow it to play out naturally. If I give up control and relax into the gifts offered, the music all around me rises in a grand crescendo of energy and love that can carry me anywhere. My day, my life, is exactly how it’s supposed to be. It is beautiful music.