A vision has been slowly forming in my brain, there among the sounds of silence.

I get up every morning without the aid of the alarm, just as the light of the sun makes it possible to walk easily across the floor. Exercise;shower;breakfast.

Then I sit at my computer with the spring breeze cooly blowing across my head, neck, and shoulders. I look out the north window to the oak tree I planted myself. Its leaves have been getting bigger as the season progresses.

Most years I’ve had snap shots of this. Most years this has been my Saturday. This year, or should I say, THIS year, it has been everyday.

Usually when I arrive at work at the university, I turn to the east and get a picture of the sun rising over the library. Since mid-March, I’ve walked to the street in front of my house and have taken a picture of the sun rising over the Lady Violist’s house. Rest her soul; we have lost her.

The street is quiet. It is quiet even in normal times, but these days I don’t even look. I trust my hearing. I step into the middle of the street and take my picture.

We have so many trees in my part of town. This is part of my vision. It’s like we are not an ordinary town where we’ve banished trees, where we force them to live in columns like soldiers. Here we treat them as children, or better, as brothers as sisters. They are siblings of ours, having the same Mother--the Earth--and the same Father--God.

We were the last born of their children. The last born is favored over the first born in Biblical tradition to be the organizer. Our trees, our plants are organized in my part of town, our part of town. Not regimented: Organized. They are trimmed and cleaned (this is the word the King James uses). They are then left to grow, to be.

And there are animals.

We have at my house--I believe--a family of racoons. I’ve never seen them; I’ve only ever heard them. But I’ve seen their tracks. There is also a family of foxes that lives just across the way.

So my vision is that we are not really in a town. We are in a tamed forest, a Garden, our own Eden.

We live among the raccoons, the foxes, the snakes, the squirrels, the birds, and the bees. We live among the Oaks, the Sweetgums, the lilacs, the azaleas, and the forsythia. In the quiet of the morning there is the sound of the breeze through the soft spring leaves harmonizing with bird song. Later the sound of the lawn mowers join the symphony modulated by distance and direction with the occasional freight train to bring in dissonance in a minor key.

We’re in a good town, my friends. We are in harmony.

Yes, the world will be shifting to a faster gear soon. Yes, we all need to start making money again.

But do we have to be in such a hurry?

“Be still and know that I am God.”

As much as parents love their children, sometimes they need to discipline them. Putting them in time out is usually the most gentle step. If the children don’t listen, there are steps beyond this.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Turn off the TV; take the earbuds out of your ears; listen.

Do you hear it?

“Be still and know that I am God.”

We do have our work to do, but do we have to go at it so fast? Do we have to make so much noise that we can’t hear the whispers of Mother Earth? Do we have to drown out the still small voice of God?

It’s there as the breeze stir the leaves.