tom bh
#Digital Nomad

Thought For The Day #23

Broadcast 7th of April 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol

Audio available at

How often do you listen? I mean really listen? The nearest I have to pets are some pretty little ladybirds living in my window frame. Now and again I see them delicately crawl across the glass. They’ve become familiar and I’ve grown fond of them. Though not quite enough to give them names yet. One time when I was sitting in meditation I heard the most quiet kind of rattling go past my head. At first I was confused. I’m used to noises from the neighbours and the wind outside, but this was different. I thought about it for a good while until I suddenly realised it was of course a flying ladybird. My suspicion was later confirmed when I got up and looked behind me to see the red and black spots of the insect on my door.

I was oddly pleased with myself that I’d managed to identify a bug merely by the sound of its flight. It’s surprising the level of detail we can perceive when we quieten down and open ourselves to the environment.

Think of the weight of significance that lies behind the signals coming from the Indian Ocean. What must it be like to hear those pings live on a radar machine? Potentially they are our final remaining connection to the 239 human lives of Flight MH370.

The volume of a sound is not related to its significance. I find this useful to remember in life. How can I be attentive to the things going on in and around me that aren’t loudly tugging at my attention? I don’t know the secret but I do know that ladybirds make better pets than you’d first think.