Community Listening

Enthralled by the cascade of sound, as I listened to these birds I imagined a town hall-type meeting going on amongst those branches- organizing their upcoming flight, their epic journey South (picture Jungle Book/Lion King/Land Before Time). This projection of mine on the birds was quickly followed by the thought- but how can they hear each other if they are all talking at the same time?

We often forget we are in constant community as we go about our daily lives. We are all on an epic journey together. Like when the lights come on after an intense movie and you look around and see all the people who were with you through the entirety. Not that everyone will come out having the same understanding- we all have our own story line and viewpoint that is the filter through which we hear and see and taste and smell everything… But when catastrophe hits we are joined, as the holidays come and go we are united, in the heavy din of a restaurant we are there mingling our mealtime. We don’t have to agree on anything that transpires or make any sort of contact to confirm this connection, no matter, we share space, breath, time.

So try this– recognize what has been shared and with whom- a moment, an instance, proximity… with friends, colleagues, strangers… Like a wave, after pulling into the ocean, we all come crashing back out onto the streets having collectively witnessed the power of Puccinni’s Tosca. Like when these birds eventually take off and their neighbor’s steady beat becomes a support that allows them the long flight, nothing would be possible without the collective. This practice of community awareness opens me to welcome and treasure the presence of others. To better hear myself amidst the many, to sense myself amongst the rest.

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