Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thursday's Reflection: Listening

I settled into my comfortable chair in my office garret, ready to read the morning's devotion, ready to meditate, but I was overwhelmed by sounds. Bird song. The mourning dove's one note set the beat for the chorus of other birds, which I couldn't identify, but I loved the melody. Occasionally, a lone crow's ca-a-a-a could be heard. There is always one in the crowd who can't carry a tune. They sang a second verse and a third, a hymn for the new day.

In the meantime I heard sounds of a new day inside the house. My husband emptying the dishwasher and then raising the window shades. I heard him open and close his closet and later, walking through the dining room and unzipping his laptop case. Zip shut. He called out goodbye as he left for the coffee shop where he takes his work. The click of the lock in the front door.

I heard him greet a neighbor and then he was back. "Forgot my phone." Once more the click of the lock.

Sirens. Garbage trucks. Someone's horn. The bark of a dog. Beep, beep, beep of road work trucks. Even the rumble of traffic from the freeway many blocks from us. 

Last night when I got up briefly I heard the swish of gentle rain, and I could almost hear the newly scattered grass seed say "thank you." The house was quiet then, but now it is full of the sounds of being alive. The ding on my computer signals a new email or two or three or more, and I think how easy it would be right now to tune into thoughts waiting for my attention--the list of what I hope to do today and how I am going to respond to phone calls and emails. 

Instead, I try to listen to the invisible sound of the petals falling from the flowering crabtree next door. If I am still enough and open my heart even more, will I be able to hear, though they are blocks away in their own home, our grandson still sleeping and our granddaughter brushing her teeth? Will I be able to hear my father using his walker to move carefully through his apartment? 

I think I can still hear the firm tick of the wall clock I bought in Paris before it fell off my wall and lost all speech and sense of time. I hear the chimes of the church bells in our neighborhood even though they have not yet begun to mark the passage of the day. Soon I will hear the sounds of children walking to school. They are always louder, more boisterous on the return trip in the afternoon, however.

And I hear the memory of being in this space with a spiritual directee. I hear her being, along with her words and then mine. I hear us listening to each other. Listening for wisdom and clarity and understanding and guidance. Listening for appreciation and vision and new possibilities. Listening for connection. 

As I listen, I become still, for I don't want to miss anything. I don't want to miss the movement of God in my life. Listening begins here in the stillness of my heart. As we listen, we meet ourselves. And we meet each other. 

                       Stillness. One of the doors 
                       into the temple. 
                                      Mary Oliver

An Invitation
What do you hear today? I would love to know. 

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