This is a stanza from David Whyte's poem, 'The Winter of Listening'.
All those years
you can belong
simply by listening.
Last Friday, we were in Sydney for The Art of Meditation and Dadirri - the conversation between Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr and Laurence Freeman.
Speaking of dadirri, Miriam-Rose expressed something very similar to Whyte. She describes dadirri as the kind of listening and awareness that nourishes the soul, heals wounds, generates belonging and connectedness, appreciation and gratitude. It is both a practice and a state of being.
This Wednesday, I spent my retreat time in the Botanic Gardens. Despite it being busier than usual (school holidays), I found a quiet path to walk around the edge of the gardens and found myself almost immediately quietened too. I am always slightly astonished at how deeply nourishing it is to take this time and to discover again this incredible gift so ready at hand. All we need to do to receive it is to let ourselves pay attention, slow down, open our eyes to the beauty of the world.
It was a frosty, cold morning; the sky was that clear winter blue and the light and shadow fell strongly on the trees and their extraordinary, multi-coloured bark.
I saw a pair of wood ducks fly into the trees. At first I thought the sound I could hear was a baby kookaburra trying his vocal chords, but then realised it was the female wood duck calling in a constant 'laughing' kind of sound. I wondered if they were checking out nesting sites for the spring.
And as I was getting towards the end, there was this little soul - looking like his tail was starting to turn blue.
The blessing of listening.