The Songs I Hear: Spaces of Listening, by Alana Woods
A stranger passed by today. He was old and weary. I watched from the hill as he panted from the steepness of it. I could see it was no easy ask for him to accomplish. He rested now and again, then painfully pulled his old tired body on.
I walked down a way to gret him an let him see I was a friend. It pleased him and he lay down and rolled his big sad eyes toward me and licked jy hand as I patted his head. I would have helped him up the rest of the hill but he was so heavy with the weight of his years and his body. I thought it better to let him continue at his own speed.
At last he was at the top of the hill where the grass was soft and cool. He lay there, panting. I brought him a bowl of cool water which he lapped gratefully.
The family pups were so curious to see the old beagle they trouped over and jumped all over him, playfully trying to get him to make a move. After a time he moved to the sidewalk that was warm from the heat of the day. It must have felt good to his poor aching joints.
His visit over, he silently moved away, hobbling through the tall grass in the pasture, moving as though he always knew where his destination was. patiently, steadily, and with determination, he plodded on.
The conversation we had, the understanding that was felt, does not need many words. There was the look out of the corner of the eyes, the glance around the edges, the knowing…spaces of listening.