Articles for June 2014

Listening to what is

shakespeare sunflower“I would give just about anything to hear Mom’s voice again. I would even settle for a text message from her.” These were just a couple of the thoughts rummaging through my brain during a recent walk. I decided towards the end of the walk to turn the music off, pull the earplugs out and listen. Maybe I would hear a message from Mom. Or God. Surely if I just listened hard enough I could hear her. If only I had more faith, or prayed more or louder or better a message would come.

Instead of a voice or a message I heard wheat rustling in the wind, the ripe heads scraping against each other with an organic percussive rhythm. I heard birds. Lots of birds. I couldn’t see them, but I could hear them. I discovered they were gathered in the sunflower stalks singing simply because there were songs to be sung. I heard grass swaying and swishing and sashaying in the breeze. More wind. More wheat. More birds. More grass.

Maybe there’s a message here, I thought. Maybe Mom’s there in the wheat. She loved harvest season. Maybe she’s in the birds’ songs. The sunflowers’ blooms. But that didn’t feel quite right, either. It felt forced. Made up to make myself feel better. Except that I didn’t feel better…

Until I decided simply to listen only to what is. Not for what I wish for. or hope for. or demand. Simply listen to what is. Then I heard with new ears the symphony surrounding me. And I chose gratitude. And for that brief moment, there was peace and comfort and hope and healing.

I like the sound of that.