It's spring here in New York, and the rain is falling steadily. So steadily, in fact, that it's hard to get our grass cut! We've had a steady stream of visitors as well, from actual house guests to a family of Cardinals at the feeder to an army of ants who decided to march straight through my kitchen on a mission to who knows where (although I suspect the pantry was their target).
I like the concept of a break in the spring. It gives us a chance to reflect on winter's chill and look forward to summer's warmth (if you're fortunate enough to live in a climate that has four distinct seasons, that is). And so the world turns, the leaves fall, go dormant and spring to life again - all under the watchful gaze of humanity.
Sometimes my gaze isn't so watchful. Sometimes it's downright neglectful. For those times I grieve. Such a stupid,wasteful thing–neglect. So I spent some time listening today–to the rain plinking softly on the windowpanes and the dogs' panting breath that fogged the glass. I listened to birds singing in spite of the rain, and perhaps most importantly, I listened to my heart...
And then I came across this, a poem I wrote nearly ten years ago. I can only guess what I must have been thinking and feeling as these words came tumbling out, but I know that they apply just as much today as they did then.
Listen with your eyes
Creation screams its messages of newness, hope, and expectation
Like blind men shut up in darkness
Our eyes have become comfortable with mere silhouettes
Can you not perceive the warnings in the devastation around you?
Plants wither for lack of water
Baby birds fall from the nest
Their downy wings not yet ready to carry them out into the world
Sidewalks and roadsides are littered with cast away reminders
Of our hurry up generation
And lurking in their shadows are the predators of our children
Predators we only wish were named panther or bear
So we might know how to defend ourselves against them
And still stay within the confines of the law
Listen with your ears
Enjoy the symphony of the green grass
And the splendor of a meadow of wildflowers
As bending stalks play conductor
Hear the cries of a fatherless generation
Seeking wisdom, direction, and a place to fit
In a world they did not create and often seek to destroy
Hear the shifting of the wind on a motionless afternoon
A small, still voice longs to speak
But we cannot quiet our senses
Listen to the wisdom of the ages
Of men and women who have sought and learned hard lessons
For our benefit
Listen with your hands
Get them dirty
Sink them knuckle deep in rich, brown earth
Scatter your seeds!
Care for them, water them
Pull the weeds out with your bare hands
Life touches life
Hold the hand of a fearful friend
Feed the hungry
Cuddle new puppies
Listen with your heart...
Madison Richards lives and writes in the sometimes soggy state of New York. She has a messy desk and a cluttered life, but somehow, sometimes, she listens anyway...