The Lonely Siren

The shrill breaks the quiet silence of night – an ambulance racing by, headed towards someone – somewhere – who is hurt/injured, maybe even dying.

That sound, that piercing sound that echoes, always jars me at night – when the neighborhood is still fast asleep.

Vehicle accident? Serious fall? Stroke? Heart attack? There is no way of knowing what need is being answered – but the siren signals someone needing help.

It’s a sad moment – and a moment to offer a quick, silent prayer for the unknown person or persons whose life is, perhaps, on the line.

If I listen to it with my eyes closed, I can still see the flashing red light in my mind. I can feel a rumbling – perhaps the tires racing by – in my chest. The sound seems to me to taste like metal – more specifically, the metallic taste of your own blood when you cut your finger and stick it in your mouth to stench the blood flow until you can bandage it up. I can’t associate a smell to it, however.

The five senses we humans have are intricate and complex. One simple sense is activated, and if we focus inward, other senses also have a reaction to it. That one lonely siren makes me hear, visualize (see), feel and (imagine the) taste. I’m sure, if I really thought about it, I could associate a smell, but that sense isn’t activated by the happening.

The next time one of your senses is activated – hear, see, feel, taste, smell – take the time to notice how many of your different senses also work alongside the primary one. Recognize that uniqueness in you as a human! And enjoy the exploration!

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