When it all boils down to it, it's the small things in life that bring us pleasure. Like certain sounds. I was reminded of this today as I was driving back from grocery shopping. I had my car windows down and my sunroof open as I drove through our town center here in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
I was aware of the church bell ringing out the hour and at the same time I noticed the feeling of familiarity and warmth I get when I hear church bells chiming. My whole body relaxes. I associate it with my happy childhood. The town that I grew up in had a church, which was only a stone's throw away from almost everywhere I went in my neighborhood. We told time by it, as it rang out the hour. My childhood was a time when I felt safe, happy and at one with my family and the natural world around me.
I didn't think about that back then, but fast forward about 40 years to my adult life. I was living in Bethel, Maine, and I borrowed my son's alarm clock because mine was broken. I set it and went to bed. In the morning, I pleasantly awoke to the sound of cathedral bells chiming (instead of the usual disturbing of my gawking digital alarm!). It made me smile upon waking and a warm, relaxed feeling came over me as I stretched myself awake ... what a great way to start the day! I used the alarm for a few days and I guess at some point I got a new alarm (not the chimes) and forgot about it.
I was on vacation recently and talking about the little things in life with a friend. This was a reminder for me to pay attention to these little things that make a big difference, and get myself that alarm with chimes. Inexpensive sound therapy. I've finally (10 years later!) ordered a clock on Amazon, and I'll let you know if it's the sound I'm looking for.
I also LOVE the sound of a train. During the summer, I used to lay in bed at night relaxing after a long day of hard play, looking at the warm glow of the light in the hallway and listening to the familiar muffled sound of my parents talking downstairs. Sometime between climbing into bed and falling off to sleep, I'd hear the long whistle of an approaching train and then the rhythmic rumbling of many cars on the tracks, lulling and transporting me to off to Dreamland.
Many years later, in 2002, while studying macrobiotics at the Kushi Institute in Beckett, Mass., I stayed at the home of teacher Carrie Wolf. While laing in bed on my first night there, I once again heard and felt the loud rumbling of a train passing close by in the night. This warm relaxation came over my entire body and I drifted peacefully off to sleep. What more could I ask for? Trains and church bells?!
What sounds comfort you and or transport you back in time? What is your choice of sound therapy?