Follow the Music... Only You Can Hear


I'd just finished a walk along the Mendocino Headlands, feeling grateful and refreshed.

As my hand hits the door handle, something says I need just a few more minutes before returning to work. I head back in the direction of the ocean and see four colorfully-dressed women dotting the trailside. As I walk past them, I pick up a faint, long tone, off in the distance.

It's... a trumpet? I strain harder to hear but it doesn't make sense. I'm looking at the sea, listening to bird screeching, watching these tourists and yet there is-- music-- coming from the ocean!

"Do you hear that?", I stop to ask them. Each tilts an ear to the sky, giving me a disapproving look. One starts laughing. No. I'm the only one that can hear the music.

I walk a few steps, then again... there is it. "Did you hear it that time?", I exclaim more emphatically. Glancing at each other, they turn away.

I feel slightly embarrassed. For a second, I wonder if they're right. But I'm entranced-- the faint tones continue to lure me... floating in and out of the Pacific like a ghost ship.

I ignore the women and walk in the direction of the music, like I'm following a mystical Pied Piper. Something must be there down there, perhaps a musical kayaker serenading the seals? A sailor trapped in purgatory playing the blues? A musicologist tracking how jazz affects migratory patterns? I move down a long finger of land that pushes towards the sea.

Nearly at the edge, on a ledge just below me, a man and woman are embracing. Has someone has been playing an instrument? With a grin, he reveals a small trumpet that was tucked beneath his arm. I ask if he'll grant me and the cormorants a short melody; a seaside concert. He a musician, and this instrument is new to him. But graciously, he will play Primero de Mayo.

Against a stunning backdrop, for a minute or two, we're all submerged in the sweet gift of music, bouncing off of earth and sky and water and human.... with undertones of bird cries and winds swirling and roaring waves below. We're enveloped in our communal performance.

Watch the VIDEO HERE.


I walk away still smiling ear-to-ear. It's only then, I remember that split second when I almost turned around--when the naysayers shook their heads and thought I was crazy. Makes me wonder how many times we hear our own music and turn away because others aren't sensitive enough or still enough or compassionate enough to listen.

Don't let people who can't hear the music tell you it's not there. Keep moving in the direction of that distant rhythm until you've stumbled upon your treasure. It's out there. I promise.