August 11, 2009

Just Listen


Summer rain sounds so different from winter rain. The drops hitting the leaves is so soothing and gentle compared to winter rain that is more pounding and usually accompanied by a mean wind making the tall firs creak and moan. I've heard it said that if we could hear all the new foliage breaking forth in the spring, it would be deafening.

We have so many sounds around us, especially in the city, that we miss so much. We learn to tune things out. We even go so far to put little speakers in our ears in an effort to control what we hear. When was the last time we actually stopped to listen?

I like to stay up long after my family is well asleep and just listen to the sounds of the house. The clock ticking, the fridge running, the muffled sounds of sleepers. Quiet.

I like to listen when I'm on a trail, too. If you just stop and close your eyes, there is a lot of sound. A creek by the trail swooshing, the animals scurrying under the protective leaves, drops of water falling to the ground, the birds chattering and squirrels in the trees, my boots on the soft fir needle covered trail.

Just stop to listen. Listen and feel what we routinely miss, what we take for granted. The whir of the computer, the sound of fingers tapping out a message for someone hundreds of miles away. What does your world sound like?

The sound of children running and shouting in the neighborhood. The dog calling for his owners to let him in a few houses down. The siren in the distance, the bus hissing to a stop to pick up travelers. Tires on gravel and a door slamming. The lawn mower of the family on the next street down.

A campground is an interesting place to listen. The crackling of campfires, the clank of dishes being washed by hand and the sound of a tent zipper being zipped closed. Quiet conversation of sleeping companions inside their tent, a Coleman lantern being pumped and readied for lighting. The sound of the camp stove coming to life and children running and playing...laughter.

My favorite listening place is the beach. The waves, yes, the waves crashing and washing up on the shore just shy of my feet. The sound of the salty water sinking into the sand, the air escaping in little microscopic bubbles creating a sound that is hard to describe. The birds calling, feathers against the wind. A dog's feet pounding in the sand to capture the ball thrown just beyond his reach. The sound of the wind as it moves dry grains of sand along miniature hills and valleys designed by an invisible hand. Yeah...listen. Did you hear the far off bell of a buoy? No, that was a fog horn from an unknown place far away from where you stand. Just stand and listen...can you hear it?

But by far the most important listening is when we truly listen to each other. Listen with our hearts and love one another like we want to be loved and needed.

Listen to learn.

Listen, observe and appreciate.

Listen and love.


“Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God.”
~Diana Robinson


“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.”
~Oscar Wilde


“No one is as deaf as the man who will not listen.”
~Jewish Proverb

1 comment:

Ari C'rona said...

Oh, my... what a lovely reminder to just be still. You've given me something worthwhile to ponder today, my friend. Thank you. :o)