Is Your Daily Routine Noise or Melody?

In John Steinbeck's The Pearl, the opening pages place the reader inside the mind of Kino, an impoverished but happy family man who does his best to take care of his family.

We see Kino's daily routine of waking up, stepping outside of his dirt-floor one-room hut and watching the sunrise over the Gulf as his wife and little baby wake. The sound of their morning routine -- the waking, the rising, the eating, the baby cooing, the crackle of the fire, the insects and birds outside, and the wind coming off the Gulf and rustling the trees and bushes -- is not noise to Kino. He calls it their "family song" -- the melody distinct to their morning routine and their character as a tight-knit family unit. He hears it as something different than the routine of the other families who, as they go about their activities in nearby huts, sound foreign and unappealing to him -- like hearing noise or music he doesn't like.

His family stirring and living, however, is a song to him. He is not overly romantic or wistful about it; there are no tears or even words. There are simply thoughts that sit pleasantly in his mind like a warm smooth stone sitting comfortably in the palm of his hand.

I wonder if I could see each day more as Kino does. It would be more pleasant to look at it the way he does.

Whether or not we have a family as he does, we can choose to view our daily swarms of mundane tasks (that sometimes annoy us) as music instead of noise.

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