listening in wild spaces

“Listening in wild places, we are audience to conversations in a language not our own.”  - words written by Robin Wall Kimmerer, from a life of balancing scientific and indigenous knowledge. 

When I was young, I used to ask the sky for signs… which choice to make, do I stay or do I go, how to proceed… waiting for something outside of my self to reveal to me my own true north... a practice I continued far too long into my adult life… 

(…a dear friend told me that we always have the information we need to make even the most difficult decisions – he said, each of us is offered signs in ways we are most likely to recognize them - and so if I'm asking for more, the real "sign is that I'm not paying close enough attention...)

I still look to the sky, but now it is about listening.

The clearest night sky I’ve ever seen was in Mpumalanga when I saw the Milky Way with bare eyes. The second was in Hermanus, after a windstorm so strong I thought the tin roof of the house would blow away into the waters of the Indian Ocean. Until then, I did not know the three stars of Orion’s belt could be seen from anywhere in the world... 

Just this morning I saw the October full moon, an ancient sign it is time to prepare for winter... 

Night stars linger in the morning sky. I stand with Yoshi (our Belgian Terv) and listen, wondering what secrets he hears from the great pine that anchors the yard... 

We have a chime that hangs outside our bedroom window. It rings in the wind, carrying a message whispered from far away...

Yesterday, while running errands, I shuffled and crunched through piles of yellow-brown leaves collected on sidewalks. A woman twice my age doing the very same thing, shared my sidewalk. I smiled and we exchanged hearts as we passed. 

I am surrounded by wild spaces that invite me to be part of a larger conversation… one beyond words... a chance to re-balance… to slow down... to remember I am part of something more intricate than I can imagine…