While running earlier in the week, I heard a noise. The sound was muffled at first, almost like a low hum. Looking around, I saw nothing to indicate the source of the noise. It sounded familiar, yet I could not identify it. As I came closer to the neighbor’s barn, the noise grew louder. My mind concentrated on the sound as my eyes scanned for the source, yet found nothing visible to indicate either the source or the noise’s identity.
Name That Sound
What is that sound? I know it, yet I can’t place it. This is going to drive me insane if I don’t figure this out…
Then it struck me. The sound was water running. With temperatures below freezing since before Christmas, it has been some time since I’ve heard water running outside. The source was melting snow and ice from the neighbor’s barn roof. The sun and rising temperatures had allowed the solid water crystals to change into liquid while the roof’s slope gave movement to the molecules, resulting in a very low trickling sound.
Laughing at myself for not being able to identify the sound right away, I trotted toward home and wondered how often in life we miss the little details and clues that could help us solve our problems. The experience also made me recall the following bit of wisdom from a church bulletin I had read years ago:
When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot. Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, and leave the rest to God.
Instruments of Peace
Reflecting on the sound of the running water brought a sense of peace inside. The experience made me think about how we can still find solace despite the turmoil and drama in the world around us. While running and biking are my go-to cure-alls for everything life throws my way, I also turn to music as an escape. The music may be a song on the radio, a sound in nature, or even silence in the dawn.
Regardless of the source, it is the sound that resonates within, moving the mind, body, heart, and soul to a simpler, less complicated, more comfortable atmosphere. The melody and rhythm appeal to the emotions, setting one free of internal stress. Though many of the musical instrument used today are electronic and complex in construction, the sounds they make can be stripped down to basic elements, most of which are found naturally in nature. As such, nature offers instruments of peace in a grand symphony every day.
Though we may or may not recognize the song being played, the intent is to catch our attention, make us stop briefly, and experience the wonder of life. Granted, the moment may be fleeting, but it is the experience that gives the soul strength and energy to endure.
“Nature’s music is never over; her silences are pauses, not conclusions.” – Mary Webb
Contrasts and Conflicts
While running and biking tonight, I heard the sound of water running all around me in the falling rain. The temperature soared into the mid 50°F range, a welcome change from the single digit and below zero temperatures of days prior. The warmer air felt refreshing as it breezed past me along my route. Though I was wet, I was not cold, another welcome change.
The stark contrast in weather brought to mind the origin of January. The month is named after the Roman God Janus, also known as the god of doors. It was believed Janus represented all beginnings and had the ability to see all things past and future. Janus is often depicted as having two heads looking in opposite directions to represent past and future.
Often, our past experiences conflict with what is to come in life. We may start out on what we believe to be the right path and end up totally lost. We may find failure, difficulties, and much grief at one point of life and slowly come to see success, less hardship, and peace in time. Our lives are full of conflicting schedules, obligations, and responsibilities. While we do our best to find a good balance, we don’t always have control over the outcomes of our situations.
We also don’t have two heads like Janus, allowing us to see past and future, which is probably a good thing. If we knew what was to happen next in life, we may never find what we are seeking, for fear, anxiety, stress, ego, or some other characteristic may paralyze us. It is in not knowing that we are forced to try, learn, grow, and move forward. It is also in the unknown that we find our faith.
“All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Heart and Soul
Observing the ice, snow, sun, rain, moon, stars, and skies over the past week has lead me to see the heart and soul of January, a month full of beginnings, endings, music, contrasts, conflicts, and deep meaning. Earlier in the month, we saw the full wolf moon (January 2). As we approach the heart of the month, we will see the new moon (January 17). At the end of the month, we will see the blue moon (January 31).
Each moon has its own name, meaning, history, and reason for existence. The surrounding skies set the stage for each moon’s rising and setting. In between, the dawns dance to the music of the sun and clouds as time moves along in the river to the sea. Our experiences and interactions with all of the above give us perspective for reflecting upon the past, living in the present, and planning for the future.
Like the running water mentioned earlier, we find ourselves moving along and reacting to the changes around us. We find our hearts and souls moved with time, emotion, and faith in both the known and unknown. While we may not always feel or recognize the details at work in our lives, we are very much a part of our surroundings, and our surroundings have a great influence upon our well-being.
May January’s days open our eyes and minds to the possibilities and opportunities before us. May our past experiences not hold us back from future endeavors, and may we hear the music of the month in nature’s heart, allowing us to find inner peace, strength, and hope for the remaining miles of our journey.
Snow on the pond, all frosty white
Under the blue beyond the darkening skies
As day comes to pass and night begins to call
In winter’s grasp within the seasons that fall
Like dominoes over each other in time’s game
Above and below the skies parade
Of sun and clouds, light and dark
That come about within nature’s heart.
Little deer feeding at sunset
Takes care to stay near where it can get
The nourishment it needs to survive
As it travels time’s seas beneath the skies
That grant it grace and pardon
As the days harken
Through beginnings and endings, stops and starts
Within the mending of nature’s heart.
Sunset in the distance between the clouds
Confirms the Lord’s existence as the day comes around
To meet the night time skies
Where the owl greets that shadows that hide
All the little creatures of the earth
Settled beneath the leaves, snow, and dirt
Cuddled up in a winding maze of art
Created within the ways of nature’s heart.
-Lisa A. Wisniewski
A Note of Thanks
Thanks to everyone who takes time to read and view our posts. We sincerely appreciate your time and any comments you may have. We also hope our writings offer inspiration and/or help in enduring life’s storms and an awareness of all nature has to offer.
-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo
Resources and Related Links
Origin of January – https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/months/january.html
Roman God Janus – https://www.britannica.com/topic/Janus-Roman-god