Listening

Listening is hard for me. It often seems to be the case that I listen to fear and doubt and worry and whines and tantrums, and a crying child. And the sizzle of burnt food and the ring of loud dogs and banjos. And when that isn't what I've tuned to, then it is myself. My sore throat and sore ears. My inability to get anything accomplished, my disorganization. What a terrible sound this is. It rings in my ears and it is death to my joy.

Today, it is quiet. George took the kids on an adventure to let William and I heal a little from allergies and lost sleep. We walked through the neighborhood and returned home. He is still sleeping in his stroller and all seems silent.

Wait . . . I hear a woodpecker drilling, birds singing, chickens squawking, the bristle of the wind in the long grass, a few voices in the distance, the rattle of tin. The flap of the birds wings. Yes, the flap of a wing. What a sound! It is usually lost to my ears, but if I listen . . . I will hear it. The sound of bluegrass, the song George wants to sing to us. The sound of laughter. The sounds of a lonely neighbor that needs to talk or the store clerk's story about goat cheese pizza that I totally ignored last week. The sound of a child with silly stories. What will I listen to today and tomorrow? I'll let you know. . .

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