In the depths of the ocean, an otherworldly,
mystical, lonely sound is heard,
a song older than time, echoing
mournfully through miles of water
in distinctive patterns, that repeat,
improvise, and evolve.
Each whale in the sea, it has been learned,
composes her own song,
which is constantly growing and changing,
an example of cultural evolution
that far exceeds our own.
If only they could find a way to speak.
If only we could find a way to hear.
In the African savanna, or at your neighborhood zoo,
if you sit in silence, and listen,
you might feel a throbbing in the air:
the vibration of elephant communication,
a sound below the pitch of the human ear,
their infra sonic calls.
Like humans, these gentle beasts feel community,
attachment, love, sorrow, grief, passion and play.
If parted for mere hours, on return
there is a joyous cacophony of welcome:
elephant cries of joy, ear flapping, trunks twining,
as if the benevolent being has returned
from years away, though he may have last been seen
earlier that morning.
Sometimes the entire herd becomes completely still.
They are listening,
a trait we humans would do well to emulate.
Being Silent, we open our whole being
to what is here, before and all around us.
Becoming completely present to the moment,
we can hear trees sighing,
clouds moving, a single stone
plunking into moving water.
If we listen hard enough, we might hear
the planet humming to us from its inner depths.
Mother Earth is continually speaking to us,
singing to us - singing us her song of love.
Waiting for us to love her back.
For Mary's prompt at Midweek Motif: Silence
source: In the Presence of Elephants and Whales, with Katy Payne, at On Being with Krista Tippett. Katy Payne has spent her life decoding the language of whales and elephants in efforts to better understand the species, and assist in conservation. Katy speaks of cultural evolution, demonstrated by the evolving songs of whales, and many other fascinating things. This is a wonderful interview, which set me dreaming about two species I love very much. I also am remembering here a news report many years ago, where scientists had heard a hum emanating from the depths of the earth.