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Almost all the leaves have dropped here in Indiana. It's hard not to notice the start contrast of thin, bare branches against a brilliant blue sky.

And notice is exactly what I've been doing. With every journey to and from the bus stop to get the kids - 4 times each day -, I carefully walk with my eyes turned upward. I've studied the trees, their movements against a harsh wind, their stillness, their grounded-ness, their expression.

I've listened.


I've listened as the wind carries off the songs of the few birds that await the winter chill, or as it hums a low, slow song as it meanders deep into the woods.

I've listened to the trees, their silent stories, telling me of my neighborhood long before I was here - of all the people they have seen come and go.

I've listened to the  rhythm of the dance between the wind and the trees, their joyful reunion each time they meet, a frantic tango or a mellow waltz.

And every time I listen, I find myself breathing with the pace of that listening - full, deep, alive.

I want to be reminded of this.


So tonight, I created this piece. A simple, imperfect reminder of a simple, imperfect experience. 

I even found an empty frame I had in a back corner, and hung it next to the television in our living room.


Listening, forgetting, listening, forgetting.... My only hope is that as the days pass, I am reminded to remember a bit more frequently.

I not only want to hear the breeze and the trees, but the stories my children tell me about what happened during recess and the silent stories that they don't tell me but that hide deep in their eyes.

I want to hear the songs of strangers, of people across the world who I may never meet, but who share the same wishes and desires I do to be happy and to avoid suffering and to know what love is.

I want to hear my own thoughts, those loud, crazy thoughts, so that together, my thoughts and I may work to create the life we want to live.

I want to hear it all. In order to do that, I need to remember

to listen.