One thing about snow is the steps you make leave their mark behind in ways that you can see easier than almost at any other time, and not our footsteps but those of all kinds of animals. So it was that on my short visit to Plot107 today (just to add some kitchen waste stuff to the compost bin really) I was able to spend some time just taking in some of the sights and sounds around me. Clearly there had been lots of visitors to the plots since the snow came this weekend – but few of them human. There was plenty of signs of birds and cats, and perhaps even a fox or two (though I’m no tracking expert!).
And then the other thing that the snow can often bring …… quiet.
I love the quiet that you can get outside, especially it seems, at times like these after snow or sometimes even after a storm – a real stillness and quiet, not silence, there were plenty of birds around singing – but a quiet that almost helps you to listen. Helps you to listen to the birds – its a long time since I used to go birdwatching with my Dad, and again I don’t argue to be a great birdsong expert, but just sitting and listening and looking around me today I heard; Great tits, Robin, the obvious Woodpigeon and Blackbirds and even a small flock of Redpoll high in the branches. The busyness of life can sometimes dull our senses to a point we find it difficult to hear – to really sense the world around us. We tune our hearing to things we become familiar with – the things that seem to matter to us. It reminded me of a story I heard once.
A Navajo “indian” visited a big city one day and he walked with his city friend amongst the busy cars and hustle and bustle of life – until he stopped and said to his friend ; “Listen a grasshopper!” His friend who had heard nothing said “How did you hear that over all this noise and bustle?” The Navajo replied “We always hear the things that matter to us” and with that he dropped a coin to the floor, immediately passers by stopped and looked behind them to see if it was their coin they had dropped.
Lets all be still and listen for the important things in life.
“Be still and know that I am God ….” (Psalm 46.10)