Watch and Learn, but also Listen.

My usual walk on the beach today was enlightening. I saw parents with kids, loving couples, teens sunbathing, cyclists and runners in their element.

After a hard boot-camp style workout, my friend and I decided to cool off with a long walk. In the distance, we could hear kids laughing, seagulls calling and traffic from the road nearby. But there was also an undertone of music. It sounded like a sweet and clear melodies from a trumpet or horn. I have heard this before and knew it was coming from down the boardwalk. So we set forth in search of the source.

As we got closer and we could see an older gentlemen in his 60’s, dressed in dark slacks, white chemise, and red bow tie, sitting on a nearby bench blowing passionately into his saxophone. His eyes closed, absorbed by the clear sounds projected from his instrument. In front of him sat an open case with a few dollars worth of spare change from passerby.

I reached into my gym shorts but only found my car keys. I said to my friend, “I need to support this man and his music. Let’s go back to my car.”

We walked to my car and I gathered about $6 worth of change. By the time we made it back to where the music was, we noticed the Sax player had partnered with an acoustic guitar musician. Both were deeply engaged in their performance and only looked up briefly when we dropped money into their instrument cases.

We stood there as both musicians began playing “Autumn Leaves”. My favorite. The sun was setting, the warm breeze was welcoming after a hot summer day. We watched the world at danced along with peace and listened to sounds of joy and learned that life can be simple, healthy and full.