March is a marvelous combination of endings and beginnings. We experience the last cold blast of winter and glimpse of tender green shoots of the promise of spring. Growing up in the Midwest, we eagerly looked forward to the first snowfall. That meant days missed from school and time to play. By March, the snow and rain made roads full of deep, muddy ruts, and us longing for warm, sunny days. I remember how March meant freedom from being bundled up in heavy coats and having to wear ugly rubber boots. We could breathe fresh air from open windows instead of the smell of damp mittens on hissing radiators. Our spirits felt lighter. The promise of blossoms on the lilac bushes could not be far behind. We have opportunities to shed past attitudes, which have frozen our hearts and create a new destiny; a new dream wrapped in love and full of good fortune.
March offers us opportunities to recognize our triumphs in celebrating National Women’s History Month and Small Press Month; our creativity in celebrating International Ideas Month and National Craft Month; our tendencies to indulge in a caffeine habit observing National Caffeine Awareness Month; and the prospect of opening new channels of communication during International Listening Awareness Month.
Listen Up! That is my challenge to all of us in acknowledging March as Listening Awareness Month. I would like us to take this opportunity to listen, I mean really listen, and to what is not said and how the communications are arriving. Listen to the stress messages from our bodies, minds, and spirits. Learn simple, affective ways to cope with that stress. List a plan of action to help us follow through on the new behaviors we have discovered.
I saw tiny shoots on the lilac bush in my front yard today and listened to birds singing for me. Whether you observe Listening Awareness Month by sitting in the backyard hearing the wind in the trees, walking in the neighborhood with the strains of lawn mowers, or absorbing comments during a conversation, my wish is that you do it with a new sense of wonder and understanding.