When We Listen

During Wild Mornings, we spend a lot of time in silence. For me, silence is something of an itchy blanket. It's uncomfortable at first but if I just forget about it for a second, it keeps me warm.

But the best thing about silence isn't the budding comfort. It's hearing what others have to say. While they're making tea, stirring in the cayenne pepper, pulling pages of their book apart, twisting their toes under the covers, gazing at their children.

The stories come pouring out like hot honey water. After a few moments hearing the creaks of the house and mumblings about the weather, women open up. They tell us about a framed photo we pass in the hallway, about their passions and personal needs, dreams, faults, habits. Like setting a table, they carefully place china all over the room, small fragile moments that feel comfortable and pretty. Occasionally will come the turkey and mashed potatoes: heavy moments that make us wonder how we ever knew them without it.

One woman in particular, I remember well. She seemed shy at first, nervous about the process. She told us cherry juice is good for your bones, her and her husband drink cherry juice mixed with orange juice every morning. We sat down for tea and chatted for a long while after this, admiring the morning light and her stories about childhood, retiring, and how hummingbirds migrate during the winter. Everything, really.

I received a phone call from her a few days later. She was calling to tell us "thank you." Thank you for listening. Thank you for letting me tell my story. I realized I haven't been able to talk about myself in a while and this is something I'll always cherish. Thank you for giving me time.

It's easy to forget to listen and completely understand what it means to hear people. The Wild Morning has brought us a stage for listening...with intent. Intent to share their story. Intent to put their words on a spinning mass like we're making a pinch pot out of clay. Because my goodness, it's their story - what makes them, them. If we're not listening to let them grow, what are we doing?