Allow this poem, by Patience Strong, to remind you to take the time to listen to your surroundings, and don't just take them for granted. What does it mean to listen? Does listening only mean to hear what is directly spoken to you in your native language or does it mean much more? It can be that we often don't listen intently, or we become deaf to the sounds around us. To listen is to allow the many sounds around us to tell us something we may not have known, or paid little attention to.

Those people who live in crowded cities hear a multitude of sounds and some of which are a deafening litany of everything that confounds the senses. Yet, those folks who live in a quiet county setting hear a different level and type of sounds. You can always remove yourself to a different location even in the city to experience the beautiful call of a variety of birds by walking through a park like setting, or you can escape, even for a short time, to the beauty that surrounds you only but a few miles away.

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by Patience Strong

"Listen -
that's a lovely word -
it makes us quiet and still -
There's so much in the world to hear -
The birds that chirp and trill -

The wild wind fluting in the trees -
The drumming of the rain -
The muffled fluttering of moths against a window pane;
Chopin, Beethoven, Liszt and Grieg -
Giants of music's art -
Created golden melodies to stir the human heart -

The world is full of lovely sounds -
They fall about our ears -
Remembered in serenity-
They echo down the years -
A voice we loves, a waterfall, a violin, a thrush -
All steal into the quiet heart in Memory's solemn hush....

So close your eyes and listen,
You will hear all kinds of things -
The secret language of flowers -
The whir of fairies' wings...

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Quotes from the poem, Listen!

"There's so much in the world to hear - the birds that chirp and trill "
Patience Strong

I am reminded of just a few short months ago that I moved into the city from a quiet country setting. At first, it appeared that they city offered many things that I couldn't experience in the country at least unless I wanted to drive an hour to get to them. The convenience of city living, however, soon began to be nothing more than a bunch of continuing assaults upon my psychic. The constant hum of traffic, the shouts coming from backyard parties, or the continuous barking of neighbor's dogs that surrounded me from all sides. The ambulances racing to the hospital or the police and fire sirens were a constant bombardment of quiet solitude that drowned out any of the few singing of the few birds that inhabited my property.

However, that cacophony of irritating sound has finally been drenched as I moved once again to the quiet countryside surrounded by open fields and green forests. How utterly delightful it was to once again hear the call of a variety of birds as they perched among the trees. How gracious it was to see the majestic wingspan a bald eagle or hawk floating high above in search of its' next meal.

"So close your eyes and listen, you will hear all kinds of things - the secret language of flowers - the whir of fairies' wings..."
Patience Strong

There is much to be said about the different kinds of listening. There is the listening to the sounds of a baby sleeping, or the soft crackling of a fireplace. There is listening beyond the words spoken as the body language of another person can often tell you more than the words that are spoken. Sounds that travel through a forest carried from afar spell happenings beyond one's sight. Then, there are the sounds so quiet heard when eyes are closed and your ears are the only sense in tune. These are the sounds that penetrate through your ears to excite what cannot be seen and appreciated.

And, it is not only sounds that can be heard in another sense. It is the growth of young seedlings that begin their dance of life so tall to grow. It is the fluttering of moths or a mosquito in search, or the buzz of a bee that pollinates the growing of our fruits and vegetables. Oh, so many beautiful sounds to enjoy and embrace as we still our busy lives to hear what God has created in His majesty.

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