Every day at 3:00 and every night at 8:00 the heartbeat of Sungtan springs up form the ground and plays a song, and the locals dance to it well after it has reached its crescendo, and off into the night and on into their dreams.
The song I heard was my favorite song I think I’ve ever heard. It was nothing like anything I’ve listened to back home in the states.
Like most things (if not everything) in this culture, this song was a community song- a community effort. Everybody played a part and added something special to it.
The shared joy of the onlookers as we watched the adorable kids stand together, arm and arm, around the circumference of the monstrous underground water fountain. Their anticipatory giggles rumbled and set the rhythm to the melody that was about to begin. Once the waters (finally!) sprung forth from the ground at the tick of 8, their laughter busted out in a similar manner and poured out in the air, infecting the hearts of every person there.
The beads of water echoed throughout the park as they congregated in the puddles made from the ruts in the well worn ‘dance floor’.
The heartbeat of this town came alive. The essence of community- one heart, one laugh, one song. Foot steps pattering here and there, little ones slipping with an immediate hand to help them up. Older women and men looking, with a gleam in their eye.
We were all scorched by the miserable heat. Despite our many many differences, when you come to the water, looking to be refreshed, the differences disappear and for a moment we are all brother and sister; friend without foes.
It was bizarre to see such a wealth of love and joy in a community. Maybe the refreshing sensation of the cold water on our stinging skin is what allowed our best(s) to surface.
I’m probably over romanticizing things.
I usually do.
But it is nice to imagine that this song plays all the time;
The quartet of laughter, set by the tempo of dancing feet, and hearts that swelled with the excess happiness from the children as they effervescently exuded it.
Giggles and cackles were left in the puddles, seeping in the cracks of brick. I liked sitting on the ground because I it was almsot like I could partake in the absorption of excess joy.
Their laughter stained my heart for the night, and I replayed the song in my head over and over. I let it lull me to sleep and I slept soundly until the heavy heat woke me again the next morning.