I stand at the back door, holding it open for the cat as she decides whether or not she wants to venture out into the sprinkling rain. A hummingbird settles at his feeder only six feet from me. He dips his long, sharp beak into the sugar water, then sits back, watchful, before taking another sip. Nearby in the yard, a chipmunk chip-chip-chips. In the dripping trees, birds call good morning – cardinals, sparrows, titmice, chickadees, each with its own chirp or warble or whistle.
The cat finally decides not to brave the shower and ducks back indoors. I stand for a minute longer, listening to the soft patter of rain, enjoying the cooler air that comes with it. Then I, too, duck inside. The timer on the stove has beeped, and the toasty smell of a buttermilk waffle is calling me.
The waffle-maker clicks as the heat cycles on again, but the steam has stopped drifting out. I slip the toasty, dimpled round onto my plate, plop more batter onto the griddle, and close the lid as the batter sizzles into shape.
My knife scritch-scratches the butter onto the waffle on my plate. I add a handful of blueberries, pour myself a cup of coffee, and breakfast is ready. I happily crunch and munch as I listen to the sounds drifting through the half-open windows. The rain is heavier now. The chipmunk is silent, but the birds are symphonic. The neighbors’ overnight guests, in the process of leaving, scramble to get their gear and themselves into their car before the rain shower soaks them. A slam of car doors and they’re gone.
The waffle iron clicks off with a bit of a crackle, and I realize I forgot to set the timer. But the waffle is just right, and the butter melts as soon as I spread it.
The cat runs past me, pad-pad-pad across the hardwood floor. A floor I should probably get in contact with a wood floor refinishing service for, but for now, I just take in the sounds. With the cat running on the floor all day, it makes me wonder if the floor just needs a good clean. Perhaps I just need to ask some of my friends what is the best steam mop for trying to remove cat prints from the floor. Maybe I’ll give that a go before making any big decisions.
And now all I hear is rain.
The clink of silverware. The hum of the fridge. The call of a distant train. The sigh of wind passing through branches. The crunch of dry leaves underfoot. A cat’s purr. The world whispers, “Listen. Listen. This is a gift. For you. Today. Listen.”
This week, make time to listen beneath, above, and beyond the shouts and clangs and alerts and clashes that demand attention. Rediscover soft sounds, the hums, the sighs, the whispers. Let them restore your wonder and joy, your peace and hope.
Wishing you a wonder-full week of listening for the whispers.
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Text and porch photo © 2018 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.
All other photos courtesy pexels.com.