When you can hear yourself speak

view through damp trees and undergrowth to the misty lakeside

Each time I return to this short John O’Donohue blessing, I hear it differently. It’s not that I wasn’t listening last time, or the time before, but somehow I am ready for more. TO COME HOME TO YOURSELF May all that is unforgiving in youBe released. May your fears yieldTheir deepest tranquilities. May all that … Read more

Listening to the new song

geese and other birds on the lake

The soundscape of the valley has changed. Gone are the ardent cries of mating and staking of territory. It’s a gentler exchange. One between parents and offspring. The bonding of relationship and the affirmation of identity. Sure, when threatened, the alarm cry echoes across the valley. And the little ones on the lake go scudding … Read more

The worlds we make

part of a white hydrangea caught in a shaft of sunlight

I love the phrase ‘words make worlds’. It’s an ancient Talmudic saying that has carried the weight of years with grace. Yet it’s not only our broader culture that is shaped and understood by the words we use. It is also about the story we tell ourselves about who we are and what we are … Read more

Your beautiful song

single emerging honeysuckle bud against a green background

Song has become a theme this week. I wasn’t expecting that. Yet somehow, it feels right. Not just for me but perhaps also for you. YOUR BEAUTIFUL SONG There’s a song that only you can sing, buried deep within, it’s been there since the beginning of you.   Faint notes caught when you’re still, waiting … Read more

What do we hope to hear?

view down a narrow treelined valley

One of the advantages of living in a little valley with relatively steep sides is that everything is amplified. Birdsong is all around, and often you can discern the exchanges, friendly or otherwise, from one side to the other. I don’t speak ‘bird’ but do recognise tones and patterns. And in the narrower, deeper section … Read more

Listening to the voice of wisdom

I wonder if we have lost sight of wisdom. Or have forgotten how to recognise it. Because wisdom isn’t knowledge on steroids. It’s not the verdict of the most well-read person or someone with the most qualifications. It is a quality of a different order and isn’t in service of the person exercising it. Instead, … Read more

Listening to the song of this place

dappled sunlight on trees and rhododendrons

Have we ever stopped to wonder if the place where we are has a song? Usually, we think it is all about the present when today is merely one note in a melody that came before and will outlive us. How can we become attuned to this song? SONG OF THIS PLACE Will I pause … Read more

Your part in new beginnings

pink buds of foxglove flowers

In one sense, we are always alive to new beginnings, though I wasn’t especially looking for one now. However, time has that habit of folding and creasing in unexpected ways. Not calling us to do, but to pay attention. To listen to what we need to hear. Steve Garnaas-Holmes’s poem on Thursday caught my attention … Read more

What are you listening to?

dry and dusty woodland floor

Do you ever listen to your footsteps? Or are you more conscious of where you are going or how late you are? I haven’t been up in the woods for a while, and the lack of water is evident. There’s a soft crunching sound. And my feet sink slightly deeper into the surface. It feels … Read more