Keep Your Ear to the Ground

Yoga mat.jpg

A recent yoga practice ended with me sitting on my knees, my forehead resting on the mat.

Soon I wiggled my legs out from underneath and lay on my stomach, with my ear to the ground in a corpse pose. What a relief to be done.

The family was out of the house, and I deserved a cat nap for my efforts.

I didn’t get one. Just as I started to doze, the air conditioning unit clicked on under my ear.

Then I heard a shower start up and water began trickling down the pipes. (What? I thought everyone was gone!)

I could hear/feel the heavy equipment rumbling two houses north of me where a new subdivision is going in.

Through the slits in my eyelids, I saw dim sunlight reflecting off the side of my bathtub in the next room. As it gradually peeked over the mountains, the light grew so bright I was forced to shut my eyes again.

And. Just. Listen.

So much was happening under the surface of my awareness. I rush through this house all day long, unaware of the things that are working beautifully…until they aren’t.

Being present, in that moment--which is what we are taught over and over again in yoga and meditation-- created new waves of awareness and gratitude in me.

If I were to lay my head on my husband’s or child’s heart and listen, what would I learn? By being still enough to absorb their warmth and hear the beat of their good lives, I think I would be enveloped in a new wave of awareness and gratitude for them.

I might hear their joy.

Perhaps I would catch the whisper of their vulnerability.

Sometimes I would be caught up in their excitement.

I would hope to be included in their moments of contentment.

Paul Tillich, the German American theologian, wisely counseled “The first duty of love is to listen.”

In the old days, a man would get off his horse, put his ear to the ground, and listen for someone or something coming—welcomed or un-welcomed.

Today, wouldn’t it do us good to get off our high horse, put our ears to the ground, and listen for what’s there and what’s coming?

Delighted to have ears to hear!