Words to Live By: Listen

This beautiful quote is oft attributed to Shakespeare or George Santayana, but only recently was it discovered to be written by an unknown poet, Reginald Holmes, as part of his poem, The Magic of Sound.

I’ve heard the soft whisper of wind in the pine trees,
The silvery ripple of brooklets at play;
I’ve heard the low voice of a sweet singing mother
As she sang to her child at the end of the day.

I’ve heard the faint rustle of sails in the sunset
And blue waves caressing the wild, rockbound shore;
The whistle of trains as they cross the green prairie
And mountains re-echo the cataract’s roar.

The notes of the organs in ancient cathedrals,
Where hearts of the faithful are lifted in song;
I’ve heard the gay laughter as children were playing,
The chatter and buzz of a large, happy throng.

The earth has its music for those who will listen;
Its bright variations forever abound.
With all of the wonders that God has bequeathed us,
There’s nothing that thrills like the magic of sound.

Isn’t that last part lovely? Now that it’s finally Fall here, I’ve spent more and more time out in the wilderness, and I think of this quote often. I wonder how many gifts that have been bequeathed to us, go unnoticed only because we fail to really listen. How much time do we spend distracted, worried, anxious, busy, angry, unforgiving, self-absorbed?

I wonder what would happen to our hearts and souls if when we pray, if we ask God to help us ‘listen’ more to the blessings that are being showered upon us, instead of only just asking for things we need and then hoping they show up in exactly the way we asked for it (why do we always think we know best?).

I think too often our prayers are answered in a way we don’t expect, and because we don’t recognize it, we keep praying and over time feel unheard, unloved, or bitter. It would do us well to add that listening part to our prayers, and I think we’ll be surprised how abundantly we are answered.

For a helpful reminder to always listen, you are welcome to download this quote for use on your desktop background. Enjoy!

Design by me. Photo by Joe Floyd

 

Welcome October!

JF-and-AT-October

No one is as excited for Fall as I am. That seems a bit high on the hyperbole, but I’m sure it’s true. Though I missed a lot of the heat during my cross country travels with my sister and mom this summer when we were blessed with unusually cool temps across the mid-West, it was still more than enough heat and humidity for me. All summer I dreamt of the crisp days of Autumn and they are finally here. Utah may not have much of an Autumn season, but it’s sure gorgeous here. The canyons are full of warm hues and the skies are streaked with cotton candy colors at sunset.

Jeff and I have had a number of projects that have kept us here locally for a time, but Spain is nearing quickly. We still don’t have a solid date yet, and we may not yet until relatively close to departure, but we love that flexibility that we can stay as long as we want or we can go as quickly as want. We are excited to go and can’t wait to get there, but we feel good about staying here to get these projects completed. It’s nice to feel at peace with where we’re at right now and not longing too much for our future wanderings. Besides, it’s October in Utah. What more could you want?

Feel free to save this handsome image to use as a desktop background or check out the calendars I made for October.

HAND LETTERING BY ME, PHOTO BY JOE FLOYD

Freebie: August Calendar

August-2014-Calendar

I went a little rustic/retro with this month’s calendar (and paid homage to my canoe loving father by naming the boat Sea Otter). Just right click to save the calendar, print it out, or for use on your desktop. Enjoy!

Freebie: July Calendar

July-Calendar

I’m really excited about this July calendar.  Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved learning about stars, planets, and galaxies from my Dad.  His passion for space exploration inspired me to skip class to watch John Glenn’s return to space as he had once done in the 60s and 70s.  After recently seeing Gravity, going on stargazing dates, and watching the blood moon lunar eclipse and meteor showers, I’ve loved looking at star charts and mapping out the constellations.

Now that we are in the middle of summer, it’s a perfect time campfires, s’mores, and for finding the Big Dipper, Polaris, and Orion’s Belt.  While you’re gazing, be on the lookout for planets.  Although they will be small, they are easy to distinguish because they don’t twinkle the way stars do.  To figure which one you’re looking at, use the free Google Sky app.