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The scene was overwhelming: Herringboned clouds bleached blueness, overhead; centuries-old oaks, freshly leafed, shaded the rolling hills, the grass resembling grown-out buzz cuts of new recruits; asphalt roads serpentined among clearly marked plots filled with the remains of women and men who had served our country in combat or peacetime. Thousands of American flags cast a pink glow upon the white oval faces of the headstones, resembling gothic doorways of ancient monks.

Cars inched around turns with tent-covered lemonade stands, with groundskeepers welcoming visitors and helping with directions. Children in T-shirts and shorts walked Indian-style behind their parents, holding pots of flowers. A heavyset lone senior leaned on her cane while scanning the row of headstones for her loved one.

It was Memorial Day, the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery outside of St. Louis, Missouri, and my first visit to this historic site.

I weep with those who weep.

Microwaves hum. Planes and cars hum. Generators hum—humming fills worlds of science, electronics, entertainment, and finance, often wall-papering the background of whatever draws our attention. Rare is silence sought after.

Yet, humming is integral to our humanness and still appears within classical music, jazz, and R&B. Their listeners, in search of distraction from spine-binding tensions, flock to venues hosting such events and pay handsomely. I was among them.

Somewhere within my long labyrinthine life, I stopped humming—Too many rules and regulations of adulthood had squelched its practice and cramped my imagination. True, classical music did quiet much of the turmoil, but as ovations of audiences subsided, hollow voices returned, until the next concert, with its reprieve. I’d also considered eastern chants, but never practiced them—too taxing upon my breathing. 

However, an overview of The Humming Effect – Sound Healing for Health and Happiness (2017) by Jonathan Goldman and Andi Goldman produces valuable suggestions for a more responsive care of our body-mind-spirit. Their experience convinced them that few realize the healing properties of humming: Engaged in consciously, their fruit is exponential: physically, humming raises oxygen in the cells, lymphatic assimilation, and levels of melatonin; it lowers stress and blood pressure and heart rates. 

Spiritually, humming interfaces with the Sacred in our depths and provides support and direction in the midst of trekking the impossible. It keeps in mind our immortal destiny and who we really are. Such was the experience of death camp survivors in the last century.

Mentally and emotionally, humming empowers us to alter attitudes and moods and concentrate on the present experience, with its new learning. Humming is also fun. 

And in my present circumstance, I‘ve still much to learn in the ensuing silence…

At 7 A.M., noise from a workman’s truck near my home roused me to this dream:

I’ve been hired to manage a large estate in the United Kingdom. I am well, my present age. Two white-haired bachelor brothers live there. I’m attracted to one of them. Later, I’m driving on the wrong side of the road and someone corrects me. I make the change.

My inner world appears busy, charged with managing a large estate that reeks of entitlement, privilege. Such were the imprints from my beginnings that sheltered me from the life’s hardships, and because of which, I did not develop in many areas. Relationships limped, at best.

In the dream, I am well, my present age—Perhaps a glimpse of what is to come: energetic, willingness to help others, compassionate, at least I hope so, since lifelong breathing issues have compromised such involvement. It heartens me to know that my present body, afflicted with chronic illness and pain, will have its last breath, “in the twinkling of an eye…” (I Cor 15: 52) and will change.

My attraction to one of the white-haired bachelor brothers speaks of my instinctive need for an intimate companion, still active in my psyche. Perhaps in the life to come, this need will be fulfilled in the vision of the Holy, already glimpsed in prayer—Such bliss serves as windows opening onto the Eternal.

In the meantime, I’m glad to know that someone is around the corner to correct my driving on the wrong side of the road, monstrous psychic snags I still create, especially when noting further diminishment of my body. This is working out …

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