I can listen

The root hairs of the white pine
finger their way through the dark,
playing something on that keyboard
I can’t hear.
But I can listen.
The breeze is telling some kind of story
in the trees, a lighthearted tale
that gets them laughing.
I don’t get it, but I can listen.
The ocean chants its psalms,
the notes pouring over themselves,
the words always shifting,
the chant passed on
for millennia of millennia.
I can’t join in, but I can listen.
The desert crackles in its silence.
All I can do is listen.
The human chorus speaks,
untranslatable, the moans and laughter,
the tales, the songs, the cries, the murmurings,
all of it together a vast uncontainable speech
that I can’t comprehend, but,
even in what is not said, even
in the voice of a single person,
I can listen.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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