Shush! Did you hear that? I hope so, whatever it might be. This is World Listening Day and we are nudged toward attentiveness, to one another, to the natural world, and, in my worldview, God. I consider the three to be related. If I'm not listening to God I tend to be tone-deaf to the real voices of others. If I am not listening to nature then I lose an opportunity to hear God's expression through Creation.
This morning I dropped Ruth at work and then drove north of Belleville to the Frink Centre, which is a beautiful conservation and interpretation centre along the Moira River. I was there before the gates were opened and there were no other vehicles. I walked through the mixed forest and listened to the birds, the frogs, and the mosquitoes. The wind picked up in the maples from time to time and I stopped to listen. At one point walking along the river I crunched across the clam shells likely left by otters.
I decided to also make my way along the marsh boardwalk to the north of the road. The sounds were quite different with the breeze in the grasses. I met Kenzo, a tiny man of Japanese background who I often see on the Bayshore Trail in Belleville. I told him about World Listening Day and he smiled and nodded his head. He comes to the boardwalk nearly every day to listen and look. He showed me a photo of a baby sora, a very elusive marsh bird, and a rare Blanding's turtle. As I walked away I heard him tell his equally tiny Pomeranian dog that it was World Listening Day and that they must pay attention. It was sweet.
How are you when it comes to listening? Are you able to receive as well as transmit? Will you find some time to listen to God, others, and Creation today? Are you a good listener?