SUMMER SHORTS: Come With Me Into The Quiet
Summer Shorts is a weekly short-read in honor of the season, to convey ideas about relationships and life in the blink of an eye.
Out the door I went for my early morning walk, tennis shoes under me, t-shirt and jeans over me, carrying a podcast about sound in my left hand.
After my walk, it was time to feed Jackson (the part-Papillon wonder dog) and take him for his morning outing as well. He ate his breakfast happily, and we set out together.
I began to listen to more of the Krista Tippett-Gordon Hempton podcast “Silence and the Presence of Everything.” Hempton defines silence as an environment not without sound, but without noise.
After a quick burst of speed, Jackson’s pace changed to a slow saunter, and I wondered if he was taking cues from my podcast. He stopped to smell e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. When he walked, he walked slowly. Because I had already had my own brisk walk, and because I was listening intently to the podcast on being present, it was easy to follow Jackson’s luxurious pace.
When we arrived to a part of the street lit fully by the morning sun, Jackson paused, and turned his face directly into the warmth. With his ears lifting in full alert and his eyes turning soft and blinky, he stood perfectly still, listening to his world, just as the podcast was suggesting we do more often.
Jackson was demonstrating what Gordon Hempton, acoustic ecologist, was saying — that listening to natural sounds in our world is deeply, wonderfully nurturing for our nervous system, and restorative for the soul. That quiet listening is, in fact, essential to our well-being.
With his soft eyes, Jackson looked over at me a couple of times. (I had turned off the podcast and I was standing with him in awe.) Since Jackson reads auras, he knew I was loving him, standing there together on the street listening. Today, he didn’t want to walk outdoors as much as he wanted to be outdoors.
After standing in total silence for almost a minute, Jackson slowly and deliberately let his body down on the warm pavement, a thing of beauty to watch. I could practically feel my own body lowering with his. He continued to listen, eyes mostly closed.
No cars came. No people or dogs. Nothing disturbed us as we listened to morning bird songs, a gentle breeze and our own heartbeats.
When Jackson was ready to go, he stood and walked slowly in the direction of home, still listening.
Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.
Tags: 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart., Come With Me Into The Silence, Gordon Hempton, importance of silence, On being with Krista Tippett, Summer Shorts, Terri Crosby
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