I wake up quite early. No matter the season, it is often still dark outside. Our bed faces the east, and there is a double door along the wall that is almost centered with the bed. Over the years the bed has faced many directions, but this is my favorite, east. I like to have my yoga mat facing east too. When I contemplate this, I think it is because it represents the beginning of the day, the coming of light, waking up. Looking out through that door in near darkness, complete darkness, moonlit darkness, fog, sun light, rain, snow,…..brings me a sense of peacefulness.
During any season, with the door opened or closed, I can hear the murmurings of wild life waking up as the sun slowly begins to show her light at the horizon. Depending on the weather, the wind may make the leaves sing or the trees groan as they bend in response to the forces. A variety of animals trill, squeal, snort, howl in the early morning as “breakfast” is caught and consumed. Birds wake one by one. The slow, soft start of a myriad of songs and sounds gradually grows to a wild cacophonous symphony of Nature.
This is one of my greatest pleasures. Listening to all of Nature on Turkey Hill Road awaken.
The past few weeks there has been a new sound, a bird call that I am unfamiliar with. I think it is perhaps a young hawk circling the barely light sky looking for a small morsel to fill it’s belly. One morning I opened the screen to the crisp air and looked upwards, hoping to catch a clue as to the bird. I couldn’t see anything. I know I could use a bird song/call identification website to figure it out. But I haven’t and most likely will not.
In day to day life I like to “know” things. What’s next, what’s the plan, who will do what, when do I need to be somewhere, the answer to a question, how much money is in the bank, do I need gas, are my children safe and happy, is there life after death, why am I here? I NEED to know. Not knowing is not okay. Not knowing often brings Anxiety. Stress. Worry. Fear.
What ever this bird is, I do not NEED to know. Knowing if it is a hawk or another bird will not make a difference to or change my enjoyment and wonder. Lying in bed, in darkness, and just listening and not knowing, and not needing to know is comforting. The comfort takes away the tightening that comes with organizing, planning, preparing, thinking about, enacting, being responsible, worrying, anticipating, supporting, problem solving, all the activities of the day and leaves me with being okay, for a moment or several, with not knowing. It is difficult to find times during the course of the day when it is okay not to want to know for the purpose of feeling prepared and informed, safe and secure, at ease and calm.
It is a small, trivial thing, yet I accept the gift of this bird and her call as she flies through the barely lit sky. Unseen to me. Unknown to me. And I accept gratefully this moment, and this small gift of not knowing.
“The less you know, the more fresh things become.” Toni Packer