Sometimes, the whisper can appear with such consistency that we still ignore it even when the tone rises to a SHOUT! A most memorable example for me came after a very windy and snowy night and an anticipated power outage. I was relieved to awaken to sunshine and a midday meeting so that travel would not be affected by the previous day’s storm. My optimism was short lived when mid-shower the lights went out and I was left wet and very frustrated. Fortunately the gym was open and a welcoming site to many of us in need of hair dryers and/or hot water. Returning home I left my car outside while struggling with the garage door and my gym bag. In and out quickly and the car keys were nowhere to be found as I prepared to leave. My husband was home that day; fortunate for me and perhaps not so much for him. He joined me in the snowy search and finally suggested that I use the spare set and look again when I returned. Logic is not always well received when the other person, (me), is in a panic and busily retracing over and over each step and move I had made after arriving home all the while working myself into a frenzy. Grabbing the proffered set, I left in a huff, talking to myself and blaming everyone and everything for the rotten day so far, when to add to my frustration I heard a tapping from the dashboard. I am not a mechanic, but tapping or banging in a car is rarely a good thing and at this point I made the tortured Linda Blair character in the “Exorcist” movie look quite normal.
At least the meeting was a temporary distraction until I was back in the car fumbling for the keys and praying that the ride home would be mercifully quiet. No such luck! The faster I drove, the more consistent the tapping became and the louder the radio to drown it out. Home once again, I expected my keys to be on the kitchen counter with a note saying where they’d been found. No such luck! Search part 2 was no more successful and I still had an evening event to get to. The roundtrip drive was a redo of my earlier tapping/loud radio trip, but with a welcomed twist. Perhaps it was the good speaker or the glass of wine, but I refused to end the day consumed by the multitude of earlier annoyances. The keys must have been beamed up and the repair shop would fix whatever was causing the noise. Perhaps it was the light, or the angle, but as I closed the car door, something caught my attention wedged next to the windshield wipers. Yes, indeed, there sat my missing car keys along with the quick replay in my mind of how they had gotten there. With my hands full, I had placed the keys on the snowy hood where they sunk and finally slid down towards the window, concealed from my view, but not from my hearing. I heard the tapping and paid attention only to the annoyance of it rather than to what “information” I might glean from listening.
How can we hear when we are often so consumed by action? • What might you be missing? • What would quiet time give you?
© 2014 Maureen Weisner