"All the bird feeders have been stocked recently, so we should see lots of birds today!" the instructor said with a smile.
There was a 70-something with our group, our lovely leader, a mother/daughter pair, a single woman, and me and my crew. We walked outside to get used to operating the binoculars. And then we were off.
|Just starting out. Not the secretive trail.|
We took a secretive trail into the woods where a lean-to stood. We sat and waited. Before I saw anything, I heard. It hit me: the chorus of birdsong. And not just a few, but a multitude singing out. I listened long, leaning in to hear each different melody. Something inside of me grew in that moment, and with its growth, the growing pains.
When was the last time I sat still and listened?
When was the last time I was quiet with my kids in the middle of nature?
When was the last time I focused my thoughts on seeking a single sight in the thick of a forest?
When was the last time my mind hushed the hustle of thoughts (to-do's, worries, stresses)?
I ached for the loss of presence, living either in the future or in the past.
We saw many types of birds whose identities escape me. But the biggest thing I learned, and hope that I never forget:
I learned that in the hustle of this past year, its pace and presence clamored and clanged so loudly in my head that the sonorous symphony all around me had been silenced.
Lord, give me ears to hear.