Gerry was walking down a sidewalk in Washington D.C., with a Native American friend who worked in the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It was lunchtime in Washington. People were husslin’ and busslin’ along the sidewalks, and car honks and hurried engine noises filled the streets. In the middle of all this traffic, Gerry’s friend stopped and said, “hey, a. cricket!”
“What?” said Gerry.
“Yeah, a cricket,” said his friend. “Look here,” and he pulled aside some of the bushes that separated the sidewalk from the government buildings. There in the shade was a cricket chirping away.
“Wow,” said Gerry, “How did you hear that with all this noise and traffic?”
“Oh,” said the Native man. “It was the way I was raised … what I was taught to listen for. Here, I’ll show you something.”
The Native man reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of coins … nickels, quarters, dimes … and dropped then on the sidewalk. Everyone who was rushing by stopped to … listen.
Source: Susan Strauss
Passionate Fact: Storytelling in Natural History and Cultural Interpretation (Fulcrum Publishing, 1996) page 9
We with our busy lives, rushing down highways and byways, preoccupied with our own inner thoughts and expectations, what do we hear?
Where is your focus? What are you paying attention to? What are you listening to?
Once two friends were walking down the sidewalk on a busy street during rush hour. There were all sorts of noise in the city; car horns honking, feet shuffling, people talking! And amid all the noise, one of the friends turned to the other and said, “I hear a cricket.”
“No way,” her friend responded. “How could you hear a cricket with all of this noise? You must be imagining it. Besides, I’ve never seen a cricket in the city.”
“No really, I do hear a cricket. I’ll show you.” She stopped for a moment, then led her friend across the street to a big cement planter with a tree in it. Pushing back the leaves she found a little brown cricket.
“That’s amazing!” said her friend, “You must have a super-human hearing. What’s your secret?”
“No, my hearing is just the same as yours. There’s no secret,” The first woman replied. “Watch, I’ll show you.” She reached into her pocket, pulled out some loose change, and threw it on the sidewalk. Amid all of the noise of the city, everyone within thirty feet turned their head to see where the sound of the money was coming from.
“See,” she said. “It’s all a matter of what you are listening for.”
Source | Elisa Davy Pearmain,
Doorways to the Soul: 52 Wisdom Tales from Around the World, page 14.
PONDER AND CONSIDER
- I am learning that silence is not the absence of noise but the refined tuning of the soul to the sounds and movements that usually go unnoticed.
- What are you listening for in your life?