Maybe your neighborhood is one that is visited by an ice cream truck during the summer, or like in our neighborhood as soon as there are slightly warmer days in spring. My chickens are fascinated by the musical sounds made by the ice cream truck.
Ours makes its way slowly through the neighborhood, street by street. Over and over again, it plays the same tune, an odd mechanical chiming version of “The Entertainer.” As it gets closer to our street and to our house, the chickens stretch their necks out farther and farther. Then when it fades away, they all return to their regular chicken routine.
They are intently trying to figure it all out. Some notes seem to make sense to them, but the rest remain a mystery. Perhaps they imagine a huge magnificent songbird with multicolored feathers passing through the neighborhood. They are definitely curious about whatever might be making the oddly-patterned sounds they hear.
People so often want to understand everything. And when we think we understand something, we are ready to move on to the next new thing. Done! Check! Got it! Move on!
But I think there is ample space in life for mysteries, even unsolvable mysteries. Perhaps it is best when there are still some things which we don’t completely understand. Longings. Joy. Love. God.
We may have a tendency to count as insignificant those things we feel we completely understand. The unknown can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be.
Perhaps it is no coincidence how the things we value most, including life itself, are surrounded in mystery. The unknown draws us in, and then we discover what we thought was just an interesting short verse of poetry is actually one sheet in a vast library. We are compelled to continue reading, all the while knowing we will never finish the unending task we have set for ourselves.
Although I could ask my chickens to tell me what they think about the noise of the ice cream truck, I like leaving those answers as my own mysteries for pondering and imagining possibilities.
And really, if my chickens wanted to know more about the noise of the ice cream truck, they would ask me. But they don’t, even though they know I would explain it all to them. Perhaps they enjoy having mysteries in life which they don’t completely understand just as I do.
My Life With Gracie taught me there will always be things we will never figure out, and that is as it should be.
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