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Lay of the Land

Thoughts on resurrection

It is Good Friday by the Christian calendar. When I was a child, we observed three hours of silence on this day, while we meditated upon the dying god. Today we are observing that silence again, in order to tune ourselves into the sounds of the emerging springtime.

I have heard so much in the hours of silence. Birds, lots of them. I recognize some: one cannot mistake the blare of honking geese overhead, for instance. I hear the screech of our resident pheasant, who the other day arrived beneath the bird feeder with a demurely-colored mate, almost as though he was showing off his conquest. I recognize the territorial warblings of the robins who are busy nesting in the hackberry grove above the shed. But other melodies remind me that I do not know the songs of my neighbor birds.

Wind, too: big gusts rush by, roaring for a moment as they pass. The wind sounds different in the yews near the house and in the still-budding fruit trees in the front garden. Then there are the echoing sounds from other houses: dogs barking, doors slamming, people talking as they move about their days.

We are bound to our world through our senses, yet we often do not stop to take it all in. I am relishing this short span of silence and the gifts it brings.
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