I love the bushes Mary Lee, pew neighbor at church, gave me for my garden. I wish I could remember the name but these bushes turn the most beautiful orange color in late fall and winter…the cold seems to turn the orange tinge even darker with each temperature drop. A flash of beauty in the dead of winter.
Yesterday as I walked out on my deck and around the perimeter of the garden a sharp breeze kept hitting my face…I must admit the older I get the less I like cold weather…particularly cold weather with humidity and/or wind. I get uncomfortable outside fast in these conditions.
But it isn’t just temperature effects of the wind but the sound of it too that makes me feel strangely uncomfortable and I don’t know exactly why.
As part of the Prologue Nerburn recounts a story about the wind and listening that opened my eyes and ears to the importance of listening to nature and not being afraid of it. Since Listen is still my 2019 Word of the Year the anecdote struck me personally. Hope you enjoy it too.
Nerburns remembers as a young man walking through the Saskatchewanland prairies late one afternoon…he was on a personal journey to see the world through new eyes and was immersed that afternoon in the sheer beauty of the prairies.
Suddenly he heard a truck pull over…it was a rancher who asked if he would like a lift…he did and hopped in. Like most ranchers who live in wide open spaces he was a man of few words…and soon a compatible silence engulfed them as they both enjoyed the beauty of the late afternoon terrain.
Around one curve the rancher slowed down as he spotted a break in his wire fence. He said he had to check on his stock and that Nerburn was welcome to follow him if he liked. At one point the rancher said something to Nerburn (while looking for his cattle) which Nerburn couldn’t understand since the wind was howling so loudly.
When they got back to the truck he apologized to the rancher for not responding in the earlier conversation but he said the wind was wailing too loudly to hear anything.
The rancher smiled at him and responded “Oh yeah, the wind. I don’t even hear it any more. The only time I notice it is when it stops.”
*Nerburn took this comment and applied his thoughts to it (that I love.)
“The voice of God in our lives is like the wind, so constant, so present that we only notice it when it stops…perhaps in times of crisis, loss, failed relationships, and loneliness.
It is only then that we feel the great emptiness that surrounds us… so we find ourselves reaching for the reassurance of hope and promise that we are not alone. God’s voice never stops, however, it only pauses to catch its breath and to remind us by its silence to listen more closely and take it less for granted when it begins to whisper once again.
This is a book for those who seek to hear that whisper…and to keep our hearts open to it.”
So until tomorrow….Jesus ( Gospel of John) said, “The wind blows where it will, and you hear its sound, but know not from whence it comes or to where it is going.”
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
I have come to realize that cardinals would rather scrounge for food on the ground than try to hang onto a cage and eat from a ‘suet’ bird feeder. The smaller birds like the suet food cages…the larger birds…not so much so.
About twice a day….early in the morning and late afternoon I see Sammy…that beautiful red coat of feathers catches my peripheral vision every time I am typing on the computer. As I turn to look at him…he stops feeding and stares back at me….sometimes a whole minute goes by before the bond is broken by me returning to the computer or Sammy flying off….it is such a beautiful and actually private moment… sharing life with nature.