My Turn: The gift of listening rewards those who still themselves

I sit on our patio swing seat, reading a book, “Cutting for Stone” (by Abraham Verghese). The page describes a young boy who follows his father to a small Ethiopian hospital operating stage where the boy is invited to bend down and listen to the unusual clapping sound in a patient’s pulse. The boy is intrigued with the magic of sensing auditory clues to bodily malfunctions. Afterward, his father gifts him a stethoscope to further his skills.

I lay the book down on my lap and start swinging, forward and back with swirling motions. I try concentrating on the errant sounds around me of which I rarely take note. The more I listen, the more types of sounds populate my mind and I make a mental list of them. I am gradually amazed to realize that they seem to be instruments in a pickup chamber orchestra, playing in unison.


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