Listening for Wonderment

January 3, 2023

Listening for Wonderment

By Amba Gale

With deep love for all – that – is, and a profound respect for the earth and the land, and with honor for you, and a profound sense of the privilege of my life, the opportunity to serve That which is greater than myself, I welcome you, and welcome us all, into our next year.

Somehow, I am sensing my own approach to this year would be well served by creating a commitment to “Living in Wonderment.” The action dimension of that is “Listening for Wonderment.”  That is active; that is creative. Listening for Wonderment magnetizes a certain horizon, borne from appreciation, and gratefulness, gently propelling into both of those spacious landscapes.

A strange way of saying something, for sure, but it speaks to me.

Living in Wonderment, from Wonderment, into the World. Seeing the Wonder in the World.  Hearing the extraordinary in the ordinary, the Greatness in the Small, the Life in whatever appears before me.

In the midst of this winter, at the beginning of this new year, I return to my summer – time Crossing Thresholds book, where I recall the time in which my husband and I sat on the back dock, being with a family of three loons, and their wakes, for two hours.

We were on an island in Tobin Harbor, on a medley of islands, named Isle Royale, on a lake, named Lake Superior, nearer to Canada than the shores of the upper peninsula of Michigan.

I named the poem, “Watching in Wonderment.”

As I re-read the poem, the spirit of the three loons is still with me, as I greet this new Year: the spirit of family, of companionship, of kindness, of feeding one another, of nourishment, of communication, of community, of partnership, of Silence, of Peace.

May the poem be meaningful to you, touch you. May you, in this New Year, take heart in what is given to you,  as gifts to explore, to inquire, to be in wonderment about, as they reveal their secrets, and their Teachings, in your Life.

Welcoming ourselves into 2023, may this year be a year in which we live in Wonderment.


Watching in Wonderment

By Amba Gale

From our two-chaired back dock sitting place (as comfy as a lawn),
the sunlit wakes, way across the lake, is how we see them.
They are here, now there, now gone.

My husband’s feet rest on the dock, light,
as we hunger to keep their wake within our sight.

They’re small; too small to really catch a glimpse,
our sight no match for seeing past this great distance.
We do not see them—only their wake—
in the green soft stillness of the tree-mirrored lake.
As we seek to join them in their afternoon,
we bring out the binoculars and see three loons.

Brown, small fluff floats lightly on the lake,
loonling feeding in deep water green;
only ripples, in this still water scene.

Fish shifts from loon’s beak to loonling beak,
Mother and the little one, who seek to seek
their fish for food, with no air in between.
The fish she retrieves are small and lean.

Under the water she dives again, her work is done.
And up she comes.
Breaking the surface, she feeds her young.
Beak to beak.

Male loon mate down the harbor hails.
Female, in quick response, soon emits her wail,
a second or two between the timely beats.
And, in their calls, there is no sign of fear.
(We do not hear a tremolo here.)
“Where are you?” the male calls.
“I am here,” her song sings.
She paddles with her strong unswerving feet,
answering her mate, now, beat to beat.

He knows their young one’s near.

And, as the setting sun moves toward the west,
we join the loons enjoying their feasting quest
There is no time upon great lakes.
All is Still and Now: we watch three wakes.

From our back dock,
for Beauty’s sake,
beak to beak
adorns the lake
with their strong song
and their long call.
We watch in wonder,
by it all.

Suggested Prompts:

Take a walk.

Intentionally cultivate within yourself a capacity to listen, to be with the world, through the eyes of wonder.

Allow yourself to be moved, to be enthralled, by what you see.

Write about your experience, if you choose to.

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