Rain pounds insistently in the concrete jungle, making the streets slick and shiny. Thunder rolls among the tall buildings, booming and echoing, creating an invisible atmospheric river. A huge, gray cloud moves near. Pierced by the tallest skyscraper, it unleashes an angry torrent that floods the avenues below. Tucked away in your safe space, you watch with childlike curiosity as the storm advances, secure in the knowledge that no harm will come to you. You are simply an observer, appreciating the show.

The moon chases the sun from the sky, signaling that quiet time has arrived. The crickets and cicadas serenade the darkness, providing a gentle backdrop for restful sleep. A car passes by your window, the sound of its tires on the asphalt hushed. The busy-ness of the day is finished, and you unwind in the calm and comfort of your tranquil haven. Nothing challenges the stillness of this drowsy moment. Nightfall enfolds you in its protective mantle, encouraging only the sweetest of dreams.

You are in your element. Being in the center of the action keeps you motivated. The drone of the copier, the chatter from the break room, even the scratch of a highlighter in the next cubicle makes you feel productive. The motion all around you bolsters your energy. You thrive on clacking keyboards, whining scanners, even the monotonous tick-tock of a nearby desk clock. All of it serves to sharpen your focus.

Welcome to the Busy Café! We’re glad to see you. Feel free to share a table – there are no strangers here. Have a seat next the cars rumbling by down the nearby street, or in the section with the constantly clinking cutlery. The busyness of the day is all around you, with the clattering plates, people talking, and staff hustling around with loaded trays, but we know you’ll fit right in. Today’s chef special is a cheerful slice of Life with a healthy side of Companionship. Take as long as you like; there’s never a rush at the Busy Café. Settle in and make yourself at home!

The subway has a sound profile uniquely its own. The curves of the tunnel echo back the scrape of steel wheels on the tracks. Brakes squeal as the train slows, arriving at the next station. Another train pulls through, vibrating and rattling as it passes. Inside the car, exterior noises are muffled, overtaken by the sounds of conversation and passengers shuffling quickly on and off the train. On the subway you are free to engage, or just sit quietly with your own thoughts, alone, but not lonely, in a crowd.

The pealing of church bells creates a feeling of peaceful nostalgia within. The clear, melodic tones transport us to ancient cathedrals, Gothic spires, and visions of a time when life was simple. Bells were the reigning technology of their day, communicating messages far and wide. They called believers to worship, rang out in celebration, and commemorated life events. The tolling of a bell invites us to momentarily pause and breathe, to rest in the moment, and perhaps to express gratitude for our blessings.

Isn’t the grocery store the perfect place to zone out? Grab a squeaky cart and make your way down the aisles. All around you people are going about their business, but you are alone with your thoughts. Families chatter, clerks stock the shelves, small children dart past you. At the front of the store you hear the electronic beep of items being scanned and the crinkle of plastic as they are bagged. Your private supermarket symphony carries you along, serene and undisturbed in its wake.

The hum of rubber on the road is soothing as the pavement rolls past. An occasional bump or two doesn’t detract from your meditative state. Instead, the random jolts focus your attention more deeply on your inward journey as the miles elapse. Remain present.

Let the sounds of everyday existence enfold you – the clink of cutlery, the squall of steam, lively conversation just beyond comprehension. The busy-ness of life surrounds you, but you rest in an oasis of calm. The hum of activity is a soothing backdrop for your thoughts. Vibrant energy inspires and boosts productivity. The bustle of life is a balm to your soul.

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