Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Rain, an Owl, and Peaceful silence

We live in a charming place…a safe and open place…a place where we lock tight the lower floors and open the upstairs windows to the breeze and the trees and the welcome cool of spring evenings.

It’s charming when you can open your windows and turn on the ceiling fans and drift off to sleep with the fresh air.

Last night it rained…lightly and consistently. Enough to cool everything down, but not enough to justify closing up the windows.

When sleep found me, I was listening to droplets of water gently tap, tap, tapping on leaves of various sizes, wooden deck, wind chimes, an umbrella, the stones, the grass…

Funny how rain can quiet the world, can instantly bring busyness to a halt, can bring everything down a notch…people stop, animals take cover, traffic slows…

Rain is magical…Its as though the world is afraid it will melt…

And when my head hit the pillow, I was drenched with music of the rain…

I was awakened by something around 1:30 this morning with no idea why I was suddenly, alertly awake…

At that hour, in this part of the world, it is very, very quiet. The silence was marvelous – almost enough in and of itself to wake someone.

I have very little awareness of how noisy my world is until I’m faced with silence…I do not often pay attention to cacophony ensuing around me – traffic, voices, humming lights, ringing phones, Jay singing or playing, the radio, lawnmowers, birds, squirrels…even when set to silent, my cell phone will vibrate against my hip, making noise. I simply live in a noisy world.

I was pondering the wonder of my two ears, the rustle of leaves and grass, often so silent or barely audible, became crystal clear when all the chaos was washed away. I don't often appreciate what God has given me in my hearing...I take it for granted...until the busy, noisy world fades away and I'm left with the very things God created my ears to hear - His creation, His music. Lost deeply in my thoughts, I had nearly drifted back to sleep.

And then I heard it…

WHO-WHO-WHOOOO! WHO-WHO-WHOOOO!

An owl…

For me, this is a special gift from God…I’m not exactly sure why, but I love to hear that owl. The sound of his cry fills me with awe and anticipation. I love knowing that he is around, that all the city that has been built around him doesn’t stop him from staying here in our neighborhood, that my wooded and un-manicured yard is a place he finds fruitful for hunting or resting or watching the night go by.

I don’t hear him most of the time. If its winter or summer, he’s often drowned out by the humming heater or air conditioner…but in the spring and fall, in the very early morning, I hear that he has found his way to my back yard to hunt.

And this morning, God woke me so I could hear him call, to give me the gift of this owl’s cry. It must seem strange that I would get so much pleasure from the cry of an owl…many would say that the interruption to their sleep wasn’t worth the noise.

I, on the other hand, find great peace and pleasure in the knowledge that he’s back there, watching and waiting and calling out. He hung around for awhile longer, and then the rain began again.

That damp silence settled like a heavy blanket over me and I was filled with deep peace and satisfaction…the kind of peace that comes from those rare encounters with God’s creation that we sometimes are fortunate enough to experience.

It’s the simplest things in life, rain and nature and silence, that connect us with our maker…we really do make life far more complicated than it has to be.

I am so grateful for the reminder…

Peace, ya’ll!

2 comments:

MaryC said...

I too, love the rain. The sound is soothing. Then in the morning, God has made everything fresh and clean again. The smell of a good rain is divine.

**** April **** said...

That, my friend, was beautifully written. Indeed....