Saturday, May 9, 2009

Listening to the Earth

Listening to the Earth

I stand below and listen. Two ravens catch the updraft, high near the rim of the escarpment, and skirt along it. It is magnificent. The colossal grandeur of the rock, its forms, it shapes, columns and flows; the life way up there experiencing it from that coign of vantage transports me to their perspective… and I am blown away. How do I experience God? For me it is in these moments.

~~~~Henry was a man of curious ways. I have heard of those who can smell colors. Unfathomable to most of us, but true. Henry was one of those. No, he could not smell colors nor see the invisible, but a talent beyond human perspective he did have. He was a Listener. A geologist by trade, or should I say craft, rarely did he, dig, or chip, or collect samples to learn the nature of a place; he only did these things so others could see what he already knew; he “listened” to the Earth.
~~~~Of course we all know that rocks have stories to tell. Past events displayed in how the layers of the Earth lay. The cuts of ancient rivers. The deposits laid down by them or a passing glacier. The layering of volcanic deposits. But Henry just listened. Sat calmly and listened.
~~~~Henry has taken me to places to show… to teach me the forming of a place. I am new to this study. He must point out the most obvious things to me before I see anything of worth. But of less interest to me is the rocks than his gift. I have seen him sit and listen and hear things that I cannot. We have talked about this gift. I have asked him to explain its nature. “It is explaining color to the blind”, he says. All he can tell me is that he hears the moans of the Earth. Its birth pangs. Its sighs. The winds upon it greatest heights. The waters raking its valleys. Its buried dead.
~~~~Me? I can hear the light sigh of the wind in the grasses, the rattle of falling stones, but that is about it. I must look with all my might to see a thing, and listen to wherever I am given. But my gift? It is to know Henry, and all that entails.
Photo by Parkeharrison
Story by EraSeek

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