March 12, 2006

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Life Lessons: Listening Through the Layers

Last week we talked about starting the day with five-senses centering, a way to anchor yourself, at least for a moment, in the here and the now. When I walk out to get the paper first thing in the morning, I listen to the sounds of the world waking up.

On weekdays the first sound I register is one both distant and insistent: traffic on a somewhat nearby highway. It's high-speed, low rumble, much like the background noise of life itself. Next I often hear birds, maybe just a crow, maybe an early flight of geese passing overhead from their nightime nesting spots to their daytime gathering place, a wonderful open field that may host several hundred geese on any given day. As we get toward spring, I hear more small-bird chirps, the black-capped chickdees now mixing with a cardinal's call.

I may hear the sussuration of wind in the trees, soft if in the evergreens, harder if rustling through the dry deciduous leaves left over from last fall. (I just love the word "surration," don't you!) Rain makes for a positve cachophony of sounds, while snow often blankets the world in an incredible hush.

As the sounds get smaller, closer, I hear the slight metallic tinkle of a dog tag against a collar as the neighbor's dog makes its morning rounds. The next layer of listening brings me quiet, close-by little noises, the small scratch of a branch against one edge of the house, a soft flutter as the breeze ruffles a corner of the paper I'm carrying, and the tiny rolling of a pebble I've just dislodged. And, then... finally... I can hear my own quiet breathing and peaceful thoughts.

AND, f I listen very, very closely I just may hear that still small voice of my heart and know that this IS the day that the Lord hath made!

So take the time to listen through the clatter and clutter of daily life, and truly hear with the ear of your heart!


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