Clinging

hear November whisper and sing

rain drops and ball moss cling

morning light holds onto night

a few brown leaves hang on tight

I linger like these  and pray

reluctant to busy my day

yet still, yet silent

clinging

 

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Silence

IMG_0585One of the disciplines that is hard to achieve in our bustling, hurrying, sound filled lives is that of silence. But if we do not know how to practice silence, if we do not make space for it, we may miss the time we are offered the chance to give that gift to one who needs us to listen. I love the silence of early morning – sitting with my cup of coffee as darkness opens to soft light. It is as if I am stilled in the lap of God, resting in the dawn of a new day’s hope.

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Talking always comes much easier than listening, but it is in silence that I can tune my ears and learn what it means to really hear. In my recent reading, I found the words from Rachel Naomi Remen as well as the poetry by John Fox. Both speak to the value of learning silence and deeply listening.

“Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.”

~ Rachel Naomi Remen,

 

When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you’ve had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.WWhen someone deeply listens to you
ithen it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind’s eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered.

When someone deeply listens to you
your barefeet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.

~ John Fox

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Sitting in the Garden

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“Sitting in your garden is a feat to be worked at with unflagging determination and single-mindedness – for what gardener worth his salt sits down. I am deeply committed to sitting in the garden.”       – Mirabel Osler

Sitting still is necessary for so many things: I listen better when I sit still.  I hear things unheard when I am crunching on the gravel or digging or clipping.  The butterflies and hummingbirds come closer when I am still.  The cardinal pair lingers longer on the fence.  Appreciation and savoring of beauty may run after me when I am on the move but they settle around my shoulders like a soft cover when I sit still.  And in the stillness I begin to settle – the cloudy debris of things which can fret and hurt begin to drift to the bottom, leaving pure, clear knowing.  Holy moments can happen when I sit in my garden.

Silence

“Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.”
― Rachel Naomi Remen

After all these years, I am still learning to look before I leap and listen before I speak.  The latter is often hard for me.  Another’s outpouring of worry,  angst,  anger or sadness can make us think we are being asked for advice or to “fix it.”  Many times, the need for just having someone to listen to what we need to say is greater than any verbal response we can make.  I love sitting outside in our garden because it offers both solitude and silence.  I also love sharing that space with others and feeling the quieting that comes to us both.  The still silence speaks of the centering, settling presence of God.