David B Seaburn Ph.D., L.M.F.T.

Going Out Not Knowing

Listening With Your 'All-of-Me'

Hearing music has little to do with ears.

Posted Jul 10, 2015

David B. Seaburn/ferns in the rain
Source: David B. Seaburn/ferns in the rain

Makayla, age 4, is not a fan of thunder. So when the dark clouds began to roil and the trees started swaying and whooshing, she suggested that we go back into the house. And so Makayla, Grandma and I did. We settled on the screened-in porch where we would be safe, and where we would still be able to enjoy the storm. Makayla lay on the porch swing, waiting, listening. It grew darker by the moment. The rapidly approaching thunder announced its arrival like a freight train entering the block. Soon heavy drops pelted the roof, scattered at first, then steady and insistent.

            We opened the screens and breathed in the air's warm wetness, now crackling and electric. The rain was thick as fog. We leaned out the window, examining the ferns below us, appreciating their funnel shape, perfect for drinking. Gradually the thunder moved east and the backyard was left quiet, except for the rain. We listened. Makayla leaned farther out the window. “The rain is making music,” she said.

            I had forgotten this. I knew the rain was making plopping noises, that it was dripping off the gutters and sliding down the porch windows, that it was making mud. All of this was true. In a factual sort of way. In a 64-year-old sort of way.  But I had forgotten that it was also making music. I had forgotten that really good listening has nothing to do with my ears. But it has everything to do with listening with my insides, with my all-of-me, the kind of listening that comes more naturally to a Buddhist monk. Or a four year old girl.

David B. Seaburn is a writer. His most recent novel is Chimney Bluffs. He is also a retired marriage and family therapist, psychologist and minister. Learn more about his writing by clicking on his picture above.