Seventy-Four

March 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Day 74.

I could stand by the little stream of melting snow all day. The water is running fast as the warm weather has melted the snow banks into patchy, flat layers of slushy snow. The little stream picks up speed at the edge of the dirt driveway then flows underneath it. It reappears at the other side of the driveway where it eventually runs into a pool of melted snow forming in the center of the tapped maple trees.

A noisy woodpecker spends his mornings on the tops of the trees by the little stream. It is a second alarm clock as I sleepily walk my dog, the sun quickly rising to melt the remaining snow. I watch the woodpecker as it taps on the top of the still leafless tree. It sounds a mating call before flying to another tree some feet away. The woodpecker continues to make noise as the orange sun pushes me back to the house for some coffee.

Inside the house the coffeepot drips and gurgles. The showerhead sprays and swooshes. I turn on Pandora’s “World Beat” station, and the djembes, acoustic guitars, and wood flutes frolic through the house. The cats make quiet thumps as they jump from floor to window seat and down again.

It is rare that I just listen – to myself, to God, to nothing. After a peaceful morning comes the rush of the day. The television comes on, bad news and all, the car radio is turned up to overcome the sound of the tires on the road, small town gossip and whining children (always whining) are in the stores and gas stations. When I get a moment to myself, sitting in the window of the local café, I people watch, but I don’t listen.

At the end of the day, overloaded by clamor, I think back to the morning, the rising sun and the noisy woodpecker, the pure sounds that beckon reflection, holy praise, and inspiration, and wonder where I become disconnected. Is it the closed windows? The infomercials? The whining children (why are they always whining?)?

Exhausted, I crawl into bed. The house is still; the only thing I can hear is the cat breathing heavy as his eyes begin to droop. I reflect on the things I am grateful for, and then say a prayer for those in need. Before drifting off to sleep I think about lovely things like vintage armoires, love, and that spring stream by the driveway. And just like that, everything is quiet again.

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