Hope for a better world

The Gift of Listening

This morning I had a dream. It felt very appropriate for the morning after the Solstice.

There was a party going on at the home of a woman named Laura and her family. It was rather noisy, as parties tend to be. I walked into a room and I happened upon Laura, hiding under a chair with a sheet over the chair, looking for a modicum of peace and quiet.

I asked her, “Do you ever wish you had a home of your own?”

“Oh yes,” she replied. “There may be space for me at the hospice very soon.”

I was embarrassed that I’d forgotten she had cancer. She said to me, “You can come visit me and I’ll listen.”

I knew this was a great gift she was offering me, and I felt reluctant to accept. She was sick; I should be doing something for her, not the other way around.

But after I awoke, the power of the dream hit me. Most of us, in our excessive busy-ness, seldom take the time to listen. But Laura, as she nears the end of her life, knows that she will have plenty of time to offer that precious gift.

What a beautiful message for this wintertime. When the days are short and the nights are long and cold, we can enter into the silence. We can listen not only to one another, but to our own inner hearts. What message is there resting in the stillness, waiting for us to be quiet enough to hear?