Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sunday Morning Symphony

After a quick errand at the grocery store one quiet Sunday morning, I walk out of the building into the parking lot.   The sun is still low in the sky as the last of the early morning fog drifts above my head. The air is cool and I respond by zipping up my fleece jacket while I juggle my car keys, purse and recyclable cloth bag filled with orange juice and blueberries.

The highway in front of the store is empty with the exception of one or two cars driving by at a slower speed than the usual rush hour dash. The tempo of activity in the parking lot is relaxed since there is an oversupply of empty parking spaces for the few cars driving along the designated lanes towards the store.

As I walk towards my car, several people exit their cars, closing car doors, clicking automatic car lock buttons on their computerized car keys before they walk into the building. I push the button on my car key and the whishing sound of my car doors unlocking adds to the collection of noises floating up with the fog into the stillness of the morning air.

Cells phones ring interjecting a song line to the rhythm of car doors sliding shut, automatic locks clicking and the confirming horn honks. The early morning symphony catches me by surprise. 

I stand in the middle of the parking lot listening to the sounds: horns honk, doors slide, a waltz, doors slam, foot steps, the beat of a rock ‘n roll drum, beep, backlights flash, cars start up, grocery carts giggle, a jazz standard begins and abruptly stops, people talk, doors slide open, doors slide close, beep, the headlights flash on and off, the old fashioned ring of a telephone, beep, horn, lights flash, door opens and I slip into the silence of my car.

During the drive home, I realize how much I respond to audio clues to determine what is going on around me. I glaze back into my life prior to cell phones and automatic car door locks when I opened the passenger door with a car key and drove home to answer the phone.

As I turn into my driveway and push the automatic garage door opener, I wonder if I would choose to listen to birds singing and leaves rustling in the trees instead of the manipulated noises that unconsciously tell us that our automated lives are in perfect working order.

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