La vie est belle !


Animas River Trail, Durango, CO

Animas River Trail, Durango, CO


Hello Stream-of-Consciousness Saturday! Linda G Hill says we should write about the 5 senses today, so…c’est parti ! (let’s go!)  Thinking about the 5 senses, all I can do is thank the Lord for all of them. What gifts He has given us! These things that let us experience the world around us are amazing.

I woke up this morning – well, how amazing is that, first of all. To open your eyes in the morning…it kind of hurts when the sun is that bright, but our eyes accustom themselves to the light pretty quickly.

I heard the darned pigeons on my roof again. I’m not really a fan of the pigeons, but my ears heard them!

I smelled the coffee that my perfect husband was making downstairs and started to get out of bed to go taste it, but it was cold!

So I slipped some soft socks onto my feet and got dressed quickly for going to the gym. I felt the cold and then the relieving warmth of my fleece hoodie.

Even better was getting downstairs and getting that coffee. Hot and delicious, it’s a complex flavor, made from beans which came from a small farm in Ethiopia (unbelievable, how small the world is) and roasted at a special coffee shop just a few miles from us. This coffee tastes amazing when it’s very hot, and as it cools down, the flavors change, some notes come forward, others recede, all perceived by the senses of taste and smell together.

Sometimes I forget to stop and appreciate every flavor. Too often I think we don’t spend enough time at every meal, not stopping to make sure that every bite we take, we do it because it is delicious. Why waste time (not to mention consuming unnecessary calories) eating anything that isn’t delicious? (like most “diet” food, or at least anything that is marketed as such. Eww.) Too often I forget and eat junk food, only to regret it afterwards. Embrace the “Slow Food” movement! Awesome idea.

After coming home from the gym, I enjoyed a hot shower, and then my young flute student came over for her lesson. What a beautiful gift music is. As a music-hobbyist (yes, I have a degree in it, but I hesitate to say that it’s much more than a “hobby” these days) I appreciate my sense of hearing immensely. I could hear her play, and perceive how she could make small changes to improve her phrasing or tone. One thing that we talked about today was the human voice, and how we somehow know instinctively how to match a pitch, for example. We hear, and then know how to do…something…in our throat and with our breath that creates a matching sound with our voice! Amazing, isn’t it? How does that work? And how can I recognize the timbres of different instruments and voices? How do I know, just by hearing it, that something is a flute? or a recorder? or a violin? How can composers imagine a beautiful mélange of these timbres and create a symphony? It’s amazing. Tonight we are going to a symphony concert featuring Richard Strauss’ “Alpine Symphony”. It’s a massive work which requires quite a few “specialized” instruments, like the Wagner tuba and a wind machine…How did Strauss imagine these sounds?

Anyway, the senses – they collect information from the world and feed it to the brain for processing. How uniquely we each utilize the data we receive. They warn us of danger…an acrid smell, a hot stove, cold extremities, physical problems like a headache…where would we be if our senses didn’t tell us when something was wrong? And what about the so-called “sixth sense”…how do you “feel” someone watching you, for example? Strange and fantastic at the same time!

It’s a beautiful Saturday. I’m writing this while happily looking outside at the sunny day (which was cloudy this morning!) and I have lit a candle in my room here, a nice one called “Springtime in Provence”.  I think it probably smells nothing at all like “Springtime in Provence” but it does have a nice floral scent, a little bit sweet, a little bit green, not a bad way at all for a room to smell. My husband is mowing the grass, and that smell makes me sneeze, but it does reek of summer!

thanks for the prompt, Linda. It’s good to appreciate all the data our senses collect for us 🙂

11 Responses to “Gifts”

  1. Sammy D.

    Your paragraph on music is especially well-written. You clearly know what you’re writing about 🙂 Enjoy the concert.


  2. LindaGHill

    I had to read the description of your coffee a couple of times. Love coffee! Particularly in the morning.
    Thanks so much for writing such a fully descriptive post on the senses! 🙂


  3. Tracesofthesoul

    I read this earlier on my phone but had not commented. I too was writing with candles today…I’m so glad the rain stopped too. Un café le matin is a must. Great post!



    Wonderfully written as always!
    I’ve nominated you and your lovely words – both English and French – for a Liebster Award. If you’d like to accept please head back my way, post 5/18/14 for guidelines. 🙂


  5. Celine Jeanjean

    The paragraph on music really resonated with me actually – I used to play the piano but haven’t in years because I haven’t had the space for a piano (the flute is a far more practical instrument!!) but you’re right it’s amazing when you stop to think of it that not only we can tell all the different instruments apart etc, but even more mind boggling is how those amazing composers created that music out of nothing.

    I have a deep rooted love of Chopin (especially his etudes and nocturnes for the piano) and whenever I listen to him I’m floored that another human being, flesh and bone like me, could create something so complex and yet so delicate and that arouses so many emotions in me.

    Great post 🙂


    • jetgirlcos

      Thanks for reading! I love Chopin too…I had a piano teacher when I was in high school who was from Poland and knew (of course) everything about him. He was an “artist-in-residence” at the local college, a real concert pianist. I think he played Chopin’s works more beautifully than I’ve ever heard anyone else do it. I think he had a special connection to the music…



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