ListeningAs my 3 children sat across the kitchen counter eating dinner a few days ago my wife asked everyone what they were grateful for. Upon hearing their cute responses the lot eventually fell to me, at which time I shared with each the following story…..

About 6 months ago I moved my office downstairs into the basement. Because I do so many teleconferences now, the need became too great to find a place a little more private to handle the day to day affairs of my new web marketing company.

One day, after having been in the office now for quite a few months, I happened to notice the sound of footsteps above. The steps were very light, yet rapid, almost as if they were a prance. As I listened, I realized the steps were galloping up and down the main hall of our home. Quickly, a smile came to my face….Larsen, my always-exuberant 3 year old, was in full gear.

For a second I stopped hitting the keys of my laptop and closed my eyes, imagining her wearing, likely for the 3rd or 4th straight day, her favorite yellow princess outfit as she pranced down the hall, assuredly seeing herself at some magical ball with hundreds of onlookers, admiring her every move.

A few minutes later I heard a new set of footsteps. This time, although rather quiet like Larsen’s, the steps were much more relaxed…easy-going as they say. Again, a smile came to my face as I knew my 7 year old son Joseph was likely conjuring up his next project, either building another rocket to launch outside or gathering plastics bullets for his little pellet gun for target practice….I could only snicker to myself at these thoughts, especially considering I literally never built things nor played with guns growing up…Momma gave all her genes to that little man.

By this point I knew there was one set of footsteps left to identify. And before long, there they were—Danielle, my 10 year old daughter, was loudly walking down the hall above. A heal striker, like her father, Danielle is always the easiest child to identify. As Joseph is to his mother, Danielle is to me….Just as I had done with the other two, I contemplated what she was doing and gathered she was taking a momentary break from finishing another book in the ‘Percy Jackson–Lightning Thief’ series.

Learning to Listen

For whatever reason, before this particular day I hadn’t noticed the footsteps….or maybe I just hadn’t taken the time to appreciate their faint beauty. Either way, it was a moment of peaceful bliss for me as a father.

Even better is that as I told my kids this story, each looked at me with wide eyes, completely attuned to hear the sound of their step from their father’s little office below.

I wanted to share this little story with you, my fellow readers, because it reminded me of one of life’s most important truisms:

It’s the ‘little things’ in life, when listened to intently, that will bring the most music to one’s soul.

And, I’m pleased to say that as I get older and hopefully more balanced in all facets of life, I’m now hearing that music more and more.

As always, I invite you to share any thoughts or comments on this article. Your comments are what make this blog worth it, and it’s through conversation that we are able to learn and grow together…

18 thoughts on “Footsteps from Above: A Story about Life’s Music

  1. A lovely story, and a great lesson.
    Thanks for sharing,

    • Hi Sarah, and thanks for the kind words….Hope to see you back ;-)

  2. Jk

    This touched me Marcus.
    First, I appreciate your dedication to your family and sharing it with us all. There’s no greater gift, sure, but still some don’t see it that way. For that reason, this post is one of leadership magnitude because sometimes the little things can be heard to find…until they’re lost. The big things – the stuff – is right in our face grabbing gallons, yards and pounds of our attention, but has no meaning to us in the long run.

    If “the stuff” had sound, it’d sound like 90% of the TV stations that I had growing up – STATIC (you know, no cable!). There’s no beauty there. The music only plays for the worthy, beautiful, the meaningful. Hmmmmm, should we call these things “little things”? No way!

    I feel like I’m the luckiest man in the world Marcus, because no matter what: finances, items, electronics, clothes, watches – STUFF… I have a beautiful soundtrack playing by a lovely lady and 3 beautiful kids…I don’t even need an ipod for that. What more can I say!

    .-= Jk´s last blog ..The Power of Simplification =-.

    • You said it all there Hustle, love your passion and perspective bro. Getting through the ‘static’ of life can be tough. Yes, there is much to distract us. Notwithstanding, at some point anything we feel has ‘value’ will take its place, and we’ll clearly see the true importance of each of these things. Hopefully, we’ll reach clarity on this matter sooner rather than later.

      Have a great day with your incredible family Hustle. :-)

  3. Dia

    Hi Marcus,

    Thanks for sharing this sweet post my friend. When we listen to those little things in life, especially from our children, they bring so much happiness into our lives. :)
    .-= Dia´s last blog ..5 steps for healthy relationship =-.

    • They do bring tremendous happiness Dia…but like you said, are we listening??

      Thanks for commenting man. :-)

  4. Leonardo Helton

    As true to honest musical form, you are “Right On The Beat”, Marcus!
    Thank you for this. I, too, used to “hear” the foosteps of my children as they grew into adults. Now, the cacophany of their perpetual noise is not so melodicly entertaining, or endearing, yet the memories of their childhood expressions are still quite fond memories. These we keep and they are ours.
    Were that we could all remain children forever, with the awe and imagination of what could be…and hearing everything in a different ear.

    • Leonardo, so kind of you to stop by and what powerful words you’ve said:

      These we keep and they are ours.

      You bring up a great point about children…and the way they hear, imagine, and dream….It’s a beautiful power they have…Only a shame that most of us ultimately lose touch with that gift.

  5. I’m just reflecting on how easy it is to fall into the routine of getting things done; hurrying from one task to the next, never really pausing to just be in the moment. When you finally find the presence to stop and do that, it’s often amazing how the world can take on a completely different character. We really are oblivious to so much that’s going on around us. Just getting still and quiet and peaceful and listening; the world comes alive in a way you can never appreciate when you’re racing around in the intellect.
    .-= Lach´s last blog ..A lesson in trust- how to get what you want by learning to let go =-.

    • I’ve never heard that phrase before Lach, ‘Racing around in the intellect.’

      Wow, that is really, really a great point you’ve made. It’s easy to be so ‘motivated’ and ‘driven’, jumping from big task to the next, that we never are truly present and able to enjoy the beauties of each moment as they come…and then see how our perspective changes from what it was before.

      Well said Lach. :-)

  6. Wonderful Marc…. Learning to ‘take in’ from our other senses… I think it’s an exercise of gentle stretching…. a regular practice that gets our other senses well seasoned…. ya know?
    ~always~ kerilyn

    • Stretching……Once again, a great way of describing this act of utilizing our senses to their potential….Very well put KL, always love to hear your thoughts……..Keep smiling. :-)

  7. Nikki

    This is my favorite one yet!

  8. Danielle

    i have to go with mom that was the best one yet!!!!!!!!!
    i love you dad

  9. Rhae Swisher

    Valuable lessons Marcus. For you and for them. Continue to listen/hear and tell them. They in turn will listen better/sooner/deeper and hear more. You are building both memories and a structure to live a deeper life for you and them. This was powerful.

    I didn’t do a very good job with this with my two daughters. But, God gives us second chances. I have two grandsons that I love to play with, listen to, watch and just be with. I never played with my grandparents and our kids never played with our parents. They are amazing and I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to build memories with them. And I actually win at video games, well not often, but every once in a while.

    Another great post. Love it. Thanks.


    • Wow Rhae, thanks so much for leaving this comment. You’re right, God does give us 2nd chances, and it appears you’re really taking advantage of yours. Good for you my friend.

      May the memories keep building… :-)

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