Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Listening

Your prayers on my behalf were answered. The sun did indeed come out after two weeks of that chilling rain. Saturday morning it sprang on us little frozen mousies like a hungry cat, and believe me, we thawed out fast and scurried for cover. It was, to say the least, an abrupt change.

I’m still not over my cold (my virus went viral and is now hiding out in my ears, having just exited both eyes), but I knew I HAD to grab my share of the vitamin D before the natives bagged it all for themselves. I set out on a short walk, just to get refreshed, and returned six hours later. How could that happen? I thought graham crackers were what I missed most from home, but I was wrong. It was hot, sticky sunshine that flutters your lashes and tingles your skin. It was glorious!

I overheard comments as I walked along. Two ladies passed on the street with this quick exchange: “How are ye?” “Roastin”!  According to the weather man, it was 76 degrees. “Too warm,” protested another. People were standing by their doors fanning themselves as if about to swoon. I guess Florida wouldn’t be their first choice retirement destination. To be fair, MOST of the folks here were ELATED with the weather. Linda and her fam spent Sunday at the beach.

I went my usual route by the river but took a fork I've never taken before and followed my ears to a small waterfall next to the path. I eventually caught back up to the main trail and followed the river back to the road. I was keenly aware of the chirping of birds, every gurgle in the water. The breeze that had last week been ferociously slapping my face was now gently stroking it as if to kiss and make up. I gladly accepted its apology.

I think this throwing myself into intense fiddle practice is having fringe benefits. I am more sensitive to sounds. I wrote last week about the traffic noises outside my window that I interpreted as surf lapping the beach below. I’m sensing meaning and interpretation in what I hear around me. Everything has rhythm and tone and tempo and mood. I read on a friend’s blog that a fiddle teacher once told him to “lie out on the grass and just listen, eyes shut, to the sounds: dogs, cats, cattle, tractor, insects, wind, cars in the distance.” Doing so would enhance his ability to recognize tunes and their structure. I get it. 

On my way home, I stopped for a latte (what a surprise!) Two ladies were sitting outside chatting and, because theirs was the only space out of direct sun, I took a chair right by them. I was quickly assimilated into the conversation and noticed one of them had a heavy French accent. They were both B&B keepers, not to be confused with beekeepers of course, but they were nonetheless “abuzz” with talk of the season and how business was progressing. The French woman was concerned that people seemed taken aback by her accent when they made reservations. I guess when you stay in Ireland you expect Irish hospitality, not French. I wonder if she’s thought of faking an Irish brogue. Probably not.

My friend, Kristen, sent me a link to one of the best little video documentaries I’ve seen in a while (https://www.livegodspeed.org/watchgodspeed/). It was about an American pastor who was sent to Scotland to oversee a rural parish there. Basically, he returned home a few years later a changed man because he learned something that apparently they don’t teach in seminary: to listen, to travel God speed instead of culture speed

More profound than any sermon he could preach or message he could convey was the heart of Christ he expressed to the community by walking through neighborhoods, introducing himself, and just listening to what people had to say. Tuning in, slowing down, questioning, concentrating, attending to the details……. he could be a great fiddler someday! "God speed" to us all.

2 comments:

  1. A most beautiful report from lovely Ireland, Kim. Glad to hear you ar feeling better!

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    1. Thank you, Jill. You are in my prayers.

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