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Listening to Ground Hornbills

Posted on Wed July 10, 2019.

This blog forms part of a number of short stories where wilderness experiences can be found. They can serve you to remind that observing wilderness restores you, coaches you and inspires us to create our world, every day.

In Africa we get immersed in a wonderful myriad of sounds of the bush veld. Birds and insects are often the most vocal....

Especially birds love to call during the early hours of the morning when the world is still sleepy, and their voices travel far and wide carried by the cool air that surrounds them. I found myself on one such a morning in the Khwai community nature reserve in the middle of Botswana not far from the magnificent Moremi National Game Reserve and its Okavango Delta.

I was woken up to my most favourite of all morning sounds; the booming calls of the Southern Ground Hornbill. These birds truly enjoy playing their tunes, that travel for miles around them. Their call can be described as a rhythmic sequence of low notes that a Tuba musical percussion instrument could produce. These are deep booming sounds.

I am fascinated to feel the vibrations of their call travel through my body and into my heart. It connects me to my heart and makes me aware how beautiful it is when two people are connected on a heart-level, truly understanding each other and supporting each other in their path.

We should all learn to listen with our hearts to another person, that would improve our communication and its effectiveness in every way. How can we reach this?

Start by listening to the other with an intention of seeing the beauty and potential of the other and not by listening with own pre-conceived ideas, own expectations and our own agenda nor the assumptions that are playing in our head. We can choose our way of listening to another. I have the choice to do this with every single person I meet today. I feel my heart when I listen, just like when the Ground Hornbills start playing their tuba’s.

Jimmy Hendrix said that “Hearing is Knowledge and Listening is Wisdom”. I believe that he would have loved to listen the Ground Hornbill’s magical morning songs.