I lay awake in the dark, acutely aware of the reverberating chirp of crickets in the woods outside my window. The repetitive, croaking rhythm of frogs seems an obnoxious volume. A cat’s meow escapes from up in the trees. Leaves rustle as a nearby raccoon shuffles along the ground.
Nature is alive and buzzing following the earlier torrents of rain . . . but I didn’t hear it before. I wasn’t able to hear the symphony of sounds surrounding me until it got quiet. Until I got quiet.
My breath halts. Did you hear that? The faint rumbling of an engine—a parked car down the street, idling. Oh! Now a deep, forceful bellow from a dog.
I am here, in the dark. The house quiet. Me . . . quiet. I finally stopped long enough to cease the day’s activity and extinguish the clamor fighting my attention. A television, the computer, mindless chatter, a cell phone . . . an evening storm. Now alone and silent, I fully recognize my surroundings. Never had I heard so clearly. Never had I listened so intently.
Life gently whispers to us. It beckons our hearts to moments offering pause. The first smile of an infant baby. Whisper. Autumn leaves cascading in a subtle breeze. Whisper. The warmth of hot chocolate in the bitter cold. Whisper. Anguished tears of a child suffering. Whisper. A lover’s wink from across the room. Whisper. A painful memory. Whisper. The genuine smile of close friends. Whisper. A fervent prayer. Whisper. The fury of wind. Whisper. A bird on your windowsill. Whisper. Clouds at daybreak. Whisper. The final breath of a loved one. Whisper.
If we want to hear, really hear, we must listen. Listen to life. Listen to its ticks, its tocks, its beats, its rhythms. Listen with your ears, your eyes, your nose, your hands, your heart . . . your spirit.
If my life only exudes shallow noise, I’ll miss the whisper of a quiet heart.
I don’t want to miss it anymore!
Shhhhhhhh. Do you hear that?
Are you listening?