To me it’s lots of tiny little switches being flipped in a wave-like pattern. Photons ping against my retina, flipping lots of little switches which flip lots of other little switches, cascading through well worn tunnels, pulling forwards bits and pieces of stuff until it creates something I can then turn into a story of “What just happened?” all in the space of milliseconds.
But the pings are each unique from one another, a wavepacket which creates a unique envelope to whatever it’s striking, whether it be in the retina or the cochlea or the nasal cavity. Each pressure has a different ‘touch” to it and shapes the signal, which behaves as a cohesive whole.
The timeframe in which these things occur amazes me most of all. It’s so quick. I sometimes complain about the inner lag but really it could e a whole lot slower than it is.