Can we quiet our engines?

Thank you, oh so gentle fog horn…for being there.

Another short and sweet metaphor for y’all…

We are in Bodega Bay, California, such a treat. After kayaking around the bay with pelicans flying along with us, cormorants diving here and there, and two seals playfully fooling us when we would get near – showing up so quickly on the other side with a splash…we realized we were right in the middle of a metaphor!

This fishing town is known for its regular fog-ins, so much so that there are lots and lots of lighted buoy markers, and also a gentle fog horn, actually more of a whistle, that blows about every 10 seconds (seriously). It truly is this humble background sound that is gracefully, but consistently, droning in its rhythm for anyone to hear if the fog is too dense for one to be able to see the lights.

We realized that if we were lost in our fishing boat or other craft and had to rely on the this gentle audio guide, we would need to turn off our engines to hear it. It is so low and muted. We would have to get quiet, listen carefully, and then discern just where to go. Ah ha…just as my own experiences in this life have shown me, I often need to quiet the “engine,” that constant thinking (and sometimes worrying) machine, and get REAL still. And then wait and listen some more...but THEN, oh my – the message comes! Sometimes with the impact of a brusk fog horn, it is loud and clear. But more often it is a gentle inner voice, a warm feeling of direction or calm. But each time, in order to hear that guiding voice, I have had to quiet “the engine”…and then there was the message I needed, the next step.

And I also realized that the message, the sweet knowing of where to go next, was there all along…I just had to tune in…quiet those mental whirrings, and tune in.

I am wondering…does that happen to you, too?

Thanks, sweet Bodega Bay fog whistle, always in the background, for your humble reminder…to get quiet and listen to your guidance…that brings me safely “home.”

 Written by Tien Langlois, Director, Scholars Together Learning Community

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