Listening in the Quiet

I go to the woods along the water to breathe in the quiet.

That’s why it always surprises me how many joggers, bikers and walkers have music piped into their ears as they traverse the path. How much they miss, as Anne Shirley would say.

Because it isn’t really quiet. As I revel in the “silence” of the woods, I listen:

IMG_1920The crunching of the leaves as I walk the path.
The melody of the birds in conversation.
The thwack as black walnuts bounce off the ground.
The scratching scamper of the squirrels climbing trees.IMG_1922
The quivering drone of the bugs.
The faint fphump, fphump of the wings of the startled blue heron.
The singing of the creek over the rocks.
The gentle whirring as the fly line unspools.
IMG_1925The footsteps pounding the boards of the covered bridge.
And yes, the distant sound of traffic on the highway.

It all speaks to me.

Of the need to slow down and be.

Of the rhythms God placed in the earth that I’m foolish to try to control and should instead learn from.IMG_1924

Of the value of rest and relaxation.

Of the unity of creation as God planned it.

Of my own need for community and communication.

I leave refreshed, reminded of how imperative it is to listen. To nature. To other people. To God.

This morning I was reading in I Samuel chapter 3, where God is calling Samuel. Eli instructs him to answer, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”

I need to be quiet enough to hear the call—in the woods, in my head, in my home, in my heart. For I want God to speak. And I want to be still enough to listen for what comes next.

Are you too plugged in to listen?



7 thoughts on “Listening in the Quiet”

  1. It’s so true! Not only do we miss nature sounds but we miss God’s voice when we are plugged in. God speaks to me when I’m walking in the woods, pulling weeds in the flowerbeds, hanging up the wash, etc. These times are times for him to speak to me but me to speak to him. It’s in these times where I get my inspirations or answer to prayers.

    I enjoyed my visit to your blog. 🙂

  2. I always feel closer to God when out in nature. I think that you are right, though. It isn’t that God is best found there so much as it is that I am a better listener when there. Thanks for the verbal visual!

  3. Thought you might appreciate this, Carol…I really enjoyed your message today!

    Falling Leaves

    Tall and crack-skinned sentinels
    unclothe themselves as the sun shies slowly
    as the lone wolf winter stalks
    this copper hued cityscape.

    I waste my time with diligence
    uncovering our patch of dormant lawn
    with sweeping strokes against the breeze
    my feet wading the castaways.

    October shapes are all a-round:
    a pumpkin month, a warm pie time…
    orange-colored dried out husks of
    summer plans that simmered away at last.

    Still it’s best I feel, to fall
    into that windswept drift of dreams
    beneath the trunks of undressed maples
    welcoming naked winter’s kiss.

    To fear the stillness and the snows
    seems faithless while green memories
    lie hidden in that hallowed crypt
    out of which reformation soon will spring.

    MNA 10.24.15


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