Do You See What the Night Wind Sees?
Your soul hears what your ears do not.
Said the night wind to the little lamb
Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
One of Mahatma Gandhi's Seven Deadly Social Sins was what he called “Science without Humanity.” Gandhi warned us to be on guard against science without humanity; politics without principle; knowledge without character; wealth without work; commerce without morality; pleasure without conscience; and worship without sacrifice.
I appreciate science. I like knowing how and why things work the way they do. Science is amazing. But sometimes, I feel science has made us forget about faith and hope. We have become cold and cynical, no longer believing in miracles or magic. We believe solutions and processes are technical and formulaic, even though the core concepts of humanity include fluidity, change, and plot twists.
Several years ago, during my menopausal mid-life crisis, I bumped into a local hippie (a real one, who began homesteading in the ’60s) in town. I do not know her, but we know of each other, following on social media for several years. Seeking her down-to-earth advice, I confessed I had anxiety and anger issues. She replied, “Get outside.”
I must confess — I was a bit disappointed with her advice. I almost felt dismissed. Surely, the solution to my complex problems could not be that simple.
And yet, scientific research across the world and the years has shown that simply exposing our bodies to the outdoor world results in amazing physical and mental improvements. Higher immunity levels, lower blood pressure, lower anxiety levels, a greater sense of well-being — a single Google search will show exposure to nature has been linked to a host of benefits, including improved attention, better mood, reduced risk of psychiatric disorders, and even upticks in empathy and cooperation.
The lamb heard the night wind, and the shepherd heard, “a song, a song high above the trees, with a voice as big as the sea.”
Nature speaks to our soul. Even though we no longer listen.
Still clamoring for a gift for that person who has everything? Consider purchasing them a backstage pass subscription to The Two-Lane Renaissance.
Do you doubt such benefits of nature?? Then try this - on one of these clear dark early evenings, bundle up and take yourself outdoors. Sit, rest, breathe, and observe. Are the trees creaking? Is the night wind speaking? Take note of how those sounds thrum inside your chest, in the singing bowl of your soul. Your ears are simply hearing, but your soul responds.
(Here in the hills, where there is limited light pollution, I can see The Milky Way crisp and clear, and feel as though I could reach my hands into the depth of the stars and flick satellites off their orbit. And, dark here is DARK. Unless there’s a bright moon, the hills and fields fade to black. Even in the crisp silence of winter nights, in that blackness, my soul stirs.)
It’s simple magic that was built into this whirling dervish we call our planet. A symbiotic miracle deep within us that we have forgotten about. We are life and energy, drops in a world of connected life and energy.
Science has made us unable to hear the night wind. It has made us dismiss any possibility that stars dance in the night, that peace is possible, and that we have the gifts of goodness and light.
The night wind told the little lamb, and the lamb told his shepherd. The shepherd boy then had to inform the mighty king in his warm castle, who did not know the voice of the night wind and did not listen to lambs.
But the king did listen to the boy.
You can support Two-Lane Renaissance AND independent bookstore owners by purchasing books from my recommendation list at bookstore.org.
These days, I find it easier to believe the night wind speaks and stars dance than believe a mighty king would even give a shepherd boy the time of day - much less listen to him and join his cause.
Today, our kings respond with science dismissing the possibility of miracles and magic. Their souls can’t hear the night wind, so they cannot see the stars dancing, or remember their humanity or their connections to humanity and nature.
Humanity is the human race, which includes everyone on Earth. It’s also a word for the qualities that make us human, such as the ability to love, to have compassion, to be creative. We do not learn to be human through science. We learn to be human through literature and the arts, by studying history, and by considering our own philosophies and those of others.
During The Renaissance, the exploration of these subjects became to be known as “the humanities,” and included further advances in mathematics and science. But at some point in our culture, STEAM has overshadowed the liberal arts. Why do we need to teach art, music, and drama; why do we need to read literature and understand the philosophies, influences, and connected consequences of our human history?
We need them to keep us human. To keep us humble, connected, compassionate, cooperative.
I do believe it is time for another renaissance. In the year since I launched this idea of a newsletter/e-zine, my conviction has only grown.
As we experience the upcoming Christmas season, open your hearts to miracles and magic again. What do you believe in, but have no proof of? What highly unlikely possibilities can you dream up?
And as we enter the new year, setting goals and nurturing hopes, consider your own personal renaissance, and what it means to be a human with a soul. Paint, dance, sing, on a regular basis, watch the stars dance, and listen to the night wind.
You may begin to hear of miracles and magic.
At least that’s what the night wind whispers to me.
May this holiday season and the upcoming year bring us all goodness and light - and may we be able to be part of the dance.
New this month:
Can There Be Peace on Earth? Robin Holstein takes us on a three-part study on the peace proclaimed by the multitude of heavenly hosts. Do we want peace? Can we achieve peace?
Sanctified and Off Key with Janet Cowger- Fliegel -“I played my best for him…Then he smiled at me.”
The Christmas Scorpion by Lee Child - A holiday book review from Julia Kastner.
10 Steps to a Happier Life - Start the new year with a single step.
From the archives:
My Father’s Last Christmas - It was a meaningful holiday, but not so merry or bright.
Thank you for reading! If you would like to offer a small gesture to give to me this year, please share this creative project.