Culture, Poem

Do you hear the birds? (Haiku)

Do you hear the birds.jpg

Do you hear the birds?
amidst hustle and bustle
Singing a message

Do you hear the birds?
Trying to get through to us
A carefree song sung

Do you hear the birds?
Whistling a melodic tune
Savoring moments

Do you ever feel like you’re too busy? Like you are caught up in the hustle and bustle of life? Like you constantly need to be active and doing something? I do.

There seems to never be enough time to do all that we want. When we do have a little spare time, instead of breathing in the moment, relaxing, noticing the birds that are savoring their moments, living life for life’s sake, we get ourselves busy with some other activity.

It seems to me that past generations had a greater understanding of and appreciation for life and the different components that make up ‘life’. The Culture Monk wrote a post a little while back that spoke of this – “returning to a simpler time and curtailing bad habits which abound throughout our culture”. One of the quotes he used comes from the movie, “Kate and Leopold”

Where I come from the meal is the result of reflection and study. Menus are prepared in advanced, timed for perfection.

I have written before about my appreciation for the movie, “The Peaceful Warrior”. The young man in the film learned some tough life lessons, but I love this simple one he was taught by his mentor, “there are no ordinary moments”.

I confess, I struggle with the rush rush of life. There is so much I want to do, study, read, etc. I am a victim of a microwave society that is addicted to information and activity. My patience levels get very low because of all I want to do, and I’m not getting it all done. 

Why is it so difficult to just let go and simplify things? Why can’t we just be satisfied with doing a few things really well – dedicating time and commitment – instead of trying to accomplish many things, yet without quality?

Penny for your thoughts…

47 thoughts on “Do you hear the birds? (Haiku)”

  1. This is a bit of harmonic convergence, Staci. Today, while I was working in my garden, two groups of birds were quarrelling. It was a sight to behold. Wonder is all around us, what are we looking for?

    1. “harmonic convergence”. What a great way of seeing it Rob. Thanks for sharing that. And yes, wonder is truly all around us, and I think we hunger for that, don’t you think? I’m so glad you were able to notice that, and appreciate it.
      Have a great day, my friend.

      1. Sometimes we don’t know it, but the hunger is always there. When I take my kids camping, they’re in awe of the woods and the night sky. It’s only then that they see the cheapness of video games and electronic media and the beauty that surrounds them, and the tranquility that stepping back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life affords them.
        You have a great day as well, Staci! 🙂

  2. I am guessing you were referring to this piece on your comment on “tweet”…I love the first verse draws one right in to the rest of this lovely piece 🙂 It is true, sometimes the “priorities” get a little distorted, and quality takes backseat..thank you for this reflection…

    1. Yes, you are right. This is the piece I told you about in my comment.
      Thank you so much for your appreciation and encouragement.
      Oh yes, I notice it so much. The decrease of quality people’s work and the services offered…
      You’re very welcome Neha.

  3. I wish I had an answer for you but I am guilty as well. Sometimes I let it be and other times I am so unsettled. Unsettled about what I think I should be doing. That is why we need to change our thoughts and not let them define us. We are separate from them. I try and convince myself of this every night I cannot sleep because my mind will not quiet down. If I can observe my thoughts I must be separate from them right? Finally I dull the noise until them….some peace. Here, in America it is our culture to rush around with no enjoyment. I think that is why I fell I. Love with Italy. Hanging in a square eating a 2 hour dinner then drinking a bottle of wine on some marble steps. They really get it there ;!

    1. Oh, I think almost, if not all of us are guilty of it. It’s like we are victims of the times.
      I empathize with you about not being able to sleep because the mind is too active. Sometimes I find myself reciting in my mind, “sleep, sleep, sleep…”
      “If I can observe my thoughts I must be separate from them right?”
      –I believe that we have a three parts – spirit, soul and body. The body is like a tent, housing the spirit. When my body dies, my spirit will continue on into eternity. The soul is a mixture of the mind, thoughts, heart, feelings, etc. A lot of struggle happens there and noise happens there. The spirit is who I am. Does that make sense to you?
      I hear you about falling in love with Italy and being about to relax and breathe in the moments. I live in Brazil, and even though I’m not on vacation and all and life does get busy, it’s definitely a lot different than North American mindset. I guess there’s more emphasis on relationships, and less so on tasks.
      Thanks for sharing cutie. Always love your heart-felt and real comments.

    1. Here here to that Audrey. It’s true. We are limited creatures. Unfortunately I want to do sooooo much and I find it frustrating that I can’t seem to accomplish it all.
      Thank you so much for your encouragement.

  4. Something is really wrong with the world…we have made it more complicated…everyone wants to be master of all trades…and in this rat race quality has been forgotten long ago…

    1. Haha. Yes, we want to master so much, yet end up not doing anything well. If we could just be content investing in one or maybe two area, and doing it well, then maybe things would be a bit different. Just maybe.
      “in this rat race quality has been forgotten long ago…”
      –Unfortunately the idea now-a-day seems to be to produce more and gain more. Whether it’s done well or is good for people, doesn’t seem to really matter. What matters is how much one is able to produce and how much one is able to gain producing it.
      Thanks for your thoughtful comment Aarya.

  5. Good question…there just always seems to be something crying for our attention. Short attentions spans, an instantaneous society, a culture where being busy is considered good…these things I think help to add fuel to the fire of being too busy to be creative and productive in other ways. My goal is to simplify. Hard to do with two kids whose job it is to take everything in. They are expanding their lives and trying to suck it all up while I am trying to do the opposite. It’s a tough line to balance, and it’s a learning curve.

    Lots to mine here, as usual. You ask great questions 🙂

    1. You know Paul, it can really drive a person nuts, don’t you think. Isn’t that crazy though, “a culture where being busy is considered good”. You hit the nail on the head there. It’s so true. “Do, do, do” says the culture task-master. And blindly we say, “Yes master”. Even when it hurts our health, relationships, well-being, you name it.
      “My goal is to simplify.”
      –I love this goal. Awesome goal in fact. Me too. I hear you about how it’s tough to do with kids. If my son didn’t have Asperger’s syndrome, and I wasn’t so stressed everyday, just thinking about how to go about getting him to do homework, making him understand, getting him to just dress, shower, brush his teeth (and my poor daughter being left out because I have to spend so much time focusing on my son), my life would seriously be a walk in the park. But then again, I guess my character wouldn’t be challenged to grow and be shaped.
      Thanks so much Paul for your encouragement and awesome comment. I love hearing from you.

  6. Beautiful poem Staci….right now this early morning, the birds outside my window are chirping away and singing their unique song, your words truly resonate 🙂 I used to be like that, busybody with no time to just be, to flow with the flow….then 4 years ago I had to face a serious health challenge and I live it it even now. I was bedridden for 2 years and I still take the wheelchair to travel – this has been a gift of transformation for me, as I really learned to savor each moment and all the business fell off – when you can;t do, you learn to just be, I was taught this lesson the hard way but I feel immense gratitude today 🙂 xox

    1. Wow Neeta. Seriously? You were bed-ridden for two years? That must have been really tough. But wow again, because of such an amazing attitude you have about it. You allowed yourself to be shaped by unpleasant circumstances, and today you are reaping the precious benefits of it. I’m so glad you took this as a learning experience. Today, the blogosphere is blessed because of it.
      Thank you sweet Neeta.

      1. Oh Staci, so kind of you to say this. Yes, no more bound to the bed or house, thank god!!! I have to still live with it and there are some limitations, but I live a good life 🙂 Hugs to you, dear one….

  7. I love the poem at the start of this post. Everything you said in this post is so true. Sometimes I am glad when I am given a “forced” rest – like this week, when I had to cancel a lot of plans due to my son and I having bad colds. Rather than get uptight about it, I was grateful to be able to spend more quality time with him, take him to the park, get him a treat at the bakery and sit in the fresh air and enjoy it. As a child and a teenager I spent hours in the garden, just drinking in all the sounds and smells of the flowers and plants around me. We can learn much from the animals around us, just doing what they are born to do. Also, from children. They don’t overcomplicate things and they soak up life, not wanting to miss a minute of play-time! 🙂

    1. Hi Merryn. Wow, thank you for sharing this. And thank you for the appreciation and encouragement. It is nice to have forced rests sometimes, isn’t it. That’s great that you were able to have that forced rest together with your son. Just so you two could have the special quality time together. It’s times like these that our children will remember as they grow up.
      “Also, from children. They don’t overcomplicate things and they soak up life, not wanting to miss a minute of play-time!”
      –Oh yes, so true. Children aren’t all worried about time and commitments. They just live their lives. We need to learn from them.

  8. If I were more cynical I’d say it’s all an intricate conspiracy by the powers that be to keep us all in a constant state of anxiety and stress so we’re less likely to be bothered to question what’s going on in our society.. but I’m not 😉 seriously though, for me personally I think I feel this way because I have a real sense that my time is limited and I want to make the most of every minute here. Although I also recognise the irony that such an attitude can often make you miss out on the ‘quality’ in life that you spoke of. I try to find a balance I guess 🙂

    1. Hahahaha. Yes, definitely a conspiracy. 🙂
      I hear you. I also want to make the most of every minute too. There’s so much I would like to do, yet so little time. I end up lacking in sleep because of it too, unfortunately. And you totally hit the nail on the head, it’s all about trying to find a balance. That’s the tough part.

      1. I’m glad you agree 🙂 and likewise I agree with you; it’s easy to say ‘find a balance’, the tricky part is actually finding it! My go-to solution for finding balance tends to be to prioritise those things that make me happiest and that detract the least from other areas of interest 🙂 seems to work fairly well so far!

  9. Eu escuto pássaros!!! 🙂
    Adorei Staci! Mais ainda depois de saber que o meu poema teve parte no imaginário do seu.
    Acho importantíssima a mensagem desse post. O poema e o texto que segue.
    Ouvi uma pessoa dizer que a falta de sentido hoje é generalizada e que as pessoas hoje sentem que existem depois de passar por uma grande perda ou algo desse tipo. Penso que uma das causas é forma superficial e extremamente virtualizada em que vivemos. Esses momentos de ouvir pássaros parece perda de tempo, mas diz respeito ao ócio criativo e a contemplação do belo, das coisas simples.
    Gostei do fato do seu poema começar com uma pergunta. “Você ouve pássaros?”. O leitor já começa o poema sendo questionado de uma coisa que à princípio nem faz muito sentido e no decorrer o poema ele vai entendo a primeira indagação.
    Parabéns! Um grande abraço.

    1. Olá Adriano. Risos. Sim, eu sei que você escuta os pássaros. Graças a Deus.
      Muito obrigada por seu comentário. Você sempre oferece uma mensagem rica. É uma pena mesmo que as pessoas hoje não parem para apreciar as coisas simples e só aproveitar o momento de fazer nada de atividade. E vários vezes, quando a pessoa pare para relaxar, geralmente está na frente da televisão. Até um amigo blogueiro comentou aqui sobre os filhos dele, e quando ele os leva para acampar. Ele disse que eles ficam maravilhados com os ceus durante a noite e a natureza/floresta. Aí eles começam a entender como os video games e a mídia eletronica não é nada comparado com a natureza.
      Mais uma vez, obrigada Adriano.
      Um grande abraço.

  10. I hear birds. That almost sounds strange just saying that. But I believe most people don’t hear this simple sound. When they do, they don’t have the slightest idea what bird made its warbling, or not so warbling sound, nor do they really care. That’s sad. I hear birds all the time, and almost always recognize what bird it is coming from. I am not a bird watcher by any means. But living in the country it just happened naturally. To me, like the simple act of the wind pushing its way through the leaves of a tree, it’s the sound of God…My God.

    1. Hahahahaha. That’s so funny Ricard. “It almost sounds strange saying that.” Like a crazy person or something like that right?
      Seriously though, modern society is finding wonder in the internet and information, more than the simplicity and tranquility of nature. I remember once, when I was in the Kootenays, British Columbia, it was first thing in the morning and we were driving out a forested area. When all-of-a-sudden, once we reached the highway, before me was the most beautiful sight I’d ever seen. The wonder and the awe that came over me was indescribable. It brought me to tears. And this was before I even believed in God. I love how you put it – “it’s the sound of God”.

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed it and could relate to it. That makes the investment in writing it all worth while. Thank you so much for the comment.

  11. Those are all excellent questions. I don’t know. Perhaps we don’t want to be perceived by others as being lazy, when we take a moment of rest? Or, maybe we just don’t know how. We get so used to rushing around and staying busy that the mere thought of relaxation is a foreign concept for us. When we try, it doesn’t feel ‘right’ so we get busy again. The thing is though, we need it. We need to listen to the birds sing. We need to take a breath and enjoy the moment. Peace, even for a few moments a day, is crucial for good mental health.

    1. You know, in part I think you hit the nail on the head. Western culture, and actually, cold-climate cultures in general, are so task oriented that I think that not being busy is bothersome. As if one is waisting time, or not being productive. And it’s so true, “we need it”. So then, it isn’t waisting time right? In a way, it is being productive, because in taking that break and appreciating the simple things and nature, we are recharged. So then, we can get back to work with fresh vigor and strength.
      Thank you for great input.

  12. Being too busy… it is the ‘birdsong’ of my life. Each day is a struggle to do ‘everything’ I feel I must get done. My job is a demanding one during the day. Then I struggle to find time to fit my writing and reading in when evening comes. Listen to the birds? Rarely.

    Yet, I should. It is in the listening to birds and life around me that my writing will grow.

    But it’s hard. Even now, I squeeze in these few minutes – it is almost 1:30 p.m., and tomorrow is a work day. A busy one. There will be no time to listen to the birds.

    1. Kate, I love how you mentioned that it is in the listening to the life around you that will cause your writing to grow. It’s so true. How better of a way to receive inspiration and creativity, but in being around, noticing and appreciating creation itself.
      I hear you though, that it is so hard. I also struggle with it. I have a really difficult time prioritizing too (could be my suspected ADHD 🙂 ).
      Thanks a ton Kate. Try and make some time for yourself to be recharged and inspired.

    1. That’s beautiful Laurie. I also have that quiet secret place within where I come and be at peace. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

  13. To hear birdcalls everyday is a blessing. And it takes the open beautiful mind to comprehend.

    I’m guilty of being busy most of the time that the peaceful beauties of life tend to pass me. And I make this excuse of often saying “When I’m less busy I’ll do this or that …”

    I agree we all need some time to pause and reflect. To appreciate life.

    1. Ohhhhh, I can so relate to that, “When I’m less busy I’ll do this or that…” Uzoma. Even with things that really should be done, not just leisure or relaxing.
      Great to hear from you, my friend. I was just thinking of you the other day and how I haven’t seen you much in the blogosphere these days.
      hope you’re doing well.

  14. I definitely feel as if there are never enough hours in my days at the moment. I guess part of the reason for that is all of the changes that have recently happened in my life. It feels as if I am on a roller coaster and I’m doing my best to just hang on!

    I’m hoping the pace of my life will start to slow to a more sedate pace soon 🙂

    1. Oh I’m sure that a large part of the reason these days is because of your move. I can totally empathize with the roller coaster thing. Just trying to hang on. Sometimes feeling at wits end.
      Doesn’t it seem like time can be your greatest enemy?
      Thanks Healther.

  15. Appreciate the post, S, because I share in your struggle. Love the quote that no moment is ordinary. Seems it takes more to satisfy us today than it did even fifty years ago. Technology has made us all around impatient people. We aren’t grateful and relieved for the crop we’d worked so hard over. Everything – food, clothes, laundry (thanks to machines), communication – is within instant reach, and so the pace of everything is much quicker. We are so hurried. I can go on. That’d be a whole post. =)

    1. Hi Diana. Yes, it is definitely a challenge today to find satisfaction in the simple things and be content with the non-technological. Post-modernism certainly has taken it’s toll on mankind, don’t you think?
      Have you ever seen the movie “The Peaceful Warrior”. Amazing movie. I really love a lot of the quotes that come from it. That one specific quote, “there are no ordinary moments” comes from it.

      1. I quit movies when I became a mom. No time. =) Six years since I walked into a theater – and that was to post a commentary on 12 Yrs a Slave for my series. But will flag your rec. Thanks.

      2. Yea, I don’t watch many movies either. I don’t have time also. However, Daniel has traveled quite a bit in the past couple of years and I put the kids to bed at 8:00pm. Sometimes I’ll get the chance to have some time for myself. I’m not a big movie/tv person, but this one movie really had an impact on me.

  16. I can so relate as i think everyone in this day and age can. I have to say i’ve done much better in the last year, with conscious effort to open my eyes and ears and take in what is going on in the world around me…not just on a screen be it computer or tv. It has made a huge impact on my life and writing 🙂

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