At odd times of the day I hear boat horns from down on the bay as the boats round the point to Sydney Harbour. Have you ever really listened to a boat horn? It is plaintive, even in sunlight, like an animal lost in the mist, calling, calling, hoping for someone, anyone to acknowledge it is there. Sometimes other boat horns answer, but most of the time there is just one single blare of a horn that plunges out across the water then disappears, swallowed up by the wind and the sky.
Those boat horns make me think about the things that mark our days, our life. I hear a lot of people say they’re just waiting for that big event to happen – job promotion, marriage, losing weight, buying a house, selling a house, writing a book – so they can start living; but we’re living while we’re waiting for that big event.
Little events make our lives more than great ones. The phone rings. Somebody puts the kettle on. A friend comes over. The washing blows dry.
The postman leaves a letter. Honeyeaters argue over blooms in the garden. Somebody cooks bacon. A baby cries. A lawnmower trundles over grass.
A printer whirrs. Leaves are swept. A door opens. Another closes. A clock sounds the hour. A text message is received. A computer starts up. Somebody opens a bottle of wine. Somebody waters the garden.
Little events. Some of them happen to us every day. We sleep. We wake. We begin again. The little events are as much a part of living as the big ones. In many ways they set the rhythm of our days. Like grinding beans for coffee, making sandwiches and picking flowers in the garden. Some day we might just look back to find the little events were great all along. As great as eating a slice of freshly-baked cake and oh, yes, boat horns.