Ligo Haibun Challenge – Listen, can you hear?

Hello and welcome to this week’s Ligo Haibun Challenge! The honourable mentions for last week are listed below. Join our international group of writers (We welcome and encourage you to join us in the creative pursuit of your written words!) just check at the bottom of this page for more details.

The challenge this week – Write a haibun choosing one of the following written prompts:

“Lost Moments”
“The earth has music for those who listen.”
Quote by George Santayana
My offering for this week is from the quote by  George Santayana!

child of nature

Listen, can you hear?

There once was a girl, mostly deaf, me!  I could hear – when sounds and spoken words were loud, or when looking directly at the person speaking. Lip reading was self-taught (although unaware, I learned to speak and understand by lip movement and observing facial expressions). When a child, you don’t know you have a hearing problem. A problem undiagnosed, until 7 years old.

*I grew up in the fertile and lush Willamette Valley in the northwestern part of North America, spending days/years communing with nature through intimacy of sight and touch. At the age of 11, through a series of incidents, my hearing (overnight) became full and clear. Never explained or clearly understood, by professionals, why this happened or why it happened when it happened, but I woke up one morning and could hear.

 And so a difficulty to describe what has not been heard before. The ebbs and flows; birdsong, breezy sounds, rustling grasses, stirring leaves, streamlets rippling murmurs, distant croaking frogs. Woodland whistles through dense trees.

 I had never known nuances of sounds, nor echoes in the life force of nature. Magically magnified by my perfect ears – one hundred fold. Raw richness of sensation, the day I first heard, the music of my earth!

when first heard
nature’s symphony of life
magic inconceivable


 (A true story, I have had perfect hearing since the 4th grade and have never stopped loving the musically beautiful songs of nature, nor do I ever tire of visiting Mother nature in the wild, my true home on this planet!
this morning - the dew of grass

Taken early this morning! Thought I’d share.


All those who entered last week’s  Ligo Haibun Challenge presented well written haibun. Congratulations to all of you, please keep writing. The honourable mentions for last weeks Challenge are:

Peripetatic Eric
Reading Pleasure

Each of their haibun are well worth taking the time to read and enjoy. Just click their name! Again I am included. I am honored by the other judges voting for me.

To enter and learn more about the Ligo Haibun Challenge, click here!

Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful weekend,

~ Penny

penny l howe

Are You Listening?

We’ve become a culture of viewers, watchers, readers and responders…But are we really listening? Really? Everything that happens today is instant, immediate, fast action, fast forward, abbreviated, and then we move on to the next quick thing. Tiny little bits of information – ‘many’ tiny little bits of information – are being scattered around and passed back and forth. Sound bites, short videos, newstreams, streamfeeds, downloads, uploads. The information is endless and overwhelming. Is there even time to – listen?

Some thoughts to consider,

Listen TO your heart

If its racing and you aren’t running in a marathon then stop what you are doing, take several slow deep breaths and relax your mind and body before continuing on!

Listen WITH your heart

When something or someone strikes you in a sincere and personal way. Respond! Be involved. Care. Make a difference.

Listen to your Elders

 Hear their words. They’ve already been where you’re going. They can make a difference for you and you for them.

Listen to your children

Hear and answer their questions. Take the time to really hear them and be there. They are the future.

Listen really, really listen. You may be surprised by what you hear!

Also for all of those amazingly wonderful people out there who commented with such compassion and understanding on my post from the other day…And Then She Waited, please visit Christina: she has a few special words she would like to say to you!

Today is the first day in the rest of your life! I hope its a great one, Penny 🙂

I’m listening…

…And I hear you!

Isn’t that what we all want? Each one of us?

To be heard! To be noticed.

To be needed, an essential part of things but recognized through our own individual expression.

Reaching out to others on our own terms. To explore, experience, learn, grow and share all with the strong desire to make a positive difference while learning to understand the nature of who and why we are.

I spent much of last night reading the postings of many bloggers and I was moved.  I read interesting and well-crafted words presented by a wide variety of people from around the world. I also read the often times moving comments of other bloggers sharing in the experience.

I viewed beautiful and well executed photography. I read inspirational and moving thoughts and ideas, reflections that ranged from new knowledge in a given subject to that of experiencing and coping with pain, joy, beauty and laughter – and last but not least the powerful and creative written word.  All through the medium of blogging.

We have a need to share, to connect – express ourselves and be heard. We need to make a difference and we want to grow and learn about ourselves while we do so.

Blogging is an artistic medium for individual expression

 I for one revel in it!  – Penny L Howe, 2012

The Accidental Gift – Part 1

I was born with a hearing defect that went undetected so I learned to speak with a bit of a lisp while running words together in a sentence.

The adults in my family assumed I had a form of mental retardation because of how I spoke and also because I did not seem to pay attention (couldn’t hear very well) therefore I was regarded and labeled as slightly retarded – today more socially correct words are used, but that was then.

My parents felt they could handle the situation themselves. No doctors were involved.

My hearing problem was finally observed and understood by both teachers and the adults at home by the time I was in the second grade. At school I was moved to the front of the class where I could hear more of what the teachers said. School was brutal the first few years as other kids made fun of me and the way I spoke.

Unfortunately the die had been cast at home and not much changed for the next few years.

…To be continued!