Shhh — hear that? Nature's speaking

Apr. 08, 2014 @ 12:01 AM

Therapy is found in listening.

I believe this, because I also believe in this saying: “What people need is a good listening to.”

As I have learned, through error and the velocity of a tongue, people heal when they are heard. Perhaps our world would be less abrasive and more polished if we spoke less and listened more. Such is the way this writer enjoys life and life outdoors.

Granted, my fingers would rather touch a caught fish and my toes enjoy the therapy that is warm water. Yet it is the give and take of what is heard and what is not that fertilizes sustenance and lessens the velocity of spoken words.

Here I absorb the innocence and persistence of song birds before the sun rise. All is still, and this I know because not even the wind creates a stir and their song is diverse in nature and rhythmic without cue, and I listen. I ingest the sound of water in displacement and water becoming a fine mist and the bow massaging into an approaching swell.

Here there is wind through propulsion and the engines are alive with the revolution of the propellers that becomes a medicinal movement, and I hear all of this and I listen. I hear my feet and their feet and we are soft steps in soft earth, and we squish and squash and creep and crawl and around the way from where the turkey might be, should be, is thought to be, needs to be, we pause and listen.

Breathing is slowed and ears are trained, and when he does gobble from where he should be, needed to be and is, we take to the moistened earth. Breath is heavy. Hope is high. He gobbles again and again and again and again, and each time we listen. It is into the night and the front porch is far and away from the trails and the places and the hiding places and the blinds and where adventure is found, where it begins, where it continues and there is no tide here.

Thankfully, even though my feet wish to move and my hands long for work, the silence invites me. I sit and a multitude of needs populate my mind. Yet the more populous my own needs occur, the more I hear the frogs. They are by the pond and near the creek and in a tree. I hear a critter scurry in the nearby woods as scurrying critters do. The frogs are out of synch. A dog barks. I don’t hear a scurrying critter and my eyes are bent to the stars.

For a moment that is neither too long nor too short nor too empty nor too full nor too anything more than the moment I listen.

With my mind still and my movement hushed and all that is this place, relaxed and free, it is not me that is listening. Maybe the creatures of this place and the nature of these places outdoors encourage my silence and presence to be a voice, for I believe that what we all need is a good listening — listening by what we both say and do equally.

Enjoy your time outdoors.

Outdoors columnist Jason Hawkins may be reached at