The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating Grass

Today I finished reading a short, but wonderful book titled, “The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating“, by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. I’m not going to retell the story, but I will tell you this, it’s an amazing and honest journey of a woman’s ability to move forward in her life, aided by her observations of the small snail living in a pot of violets at her bedside. It sounds simple, but the most simple things in life can become the most moving and life changing if we truthfully open ourselves to them.

Which brings me to today’s post. Most of us move about the planet under a set of required tasks, expected events and self-imposed routines. And each day we make choices that steer out boats about the cosmic sea according to our whims and wishes. Sometimes, life brings a storm that causes us to stop a moment and re-examine our lives and what we have placed value on and what we have set aside. But most of us have few interruptions that forces us to rewrite our course to stay or change.

The wild snail in the book is very adaptable. It does what it needs to survive with little thought on the why and where of the cause; only that a change is required. Humans on the other hand, we love to expound on the why and share theories of what should have happened, could have happened, and then…what if; but not necessarily to make a change. We do love to advise though. Even if we have nary an understanding of the source of the situation, but we have great imagination and thus, we can create a solution. Which is why it is such a trial and error life. I digress. My point is if a snail can not be worked up over being moved to a new location, with no idea for food and sustenance and yet, and yet, manage to figure it out without drama, why can’t we?
Meditation, praying, retreats and moments of reclusiveness all have one thing in common; a chance to be quiet. To still the mind, to become mind-less. This is what the book brought to my attention. To hear a wild snail eating, can’t happen with the television or radio on. It can’t happen with an iPod or cell phone in use. It happens when we slow down long enough for the outside world to be heard in the subtle layers of sound and movement. It’s amazing when you think about it. So my challenge to you is, if you had a chance to slow down long enough to hear something so subtle as a snail eating, what would you listen for? And how long would you be willing to wait, to let all the chatter cease to be able to hear it? Think about it. I did. ~ Grace

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