Mouths can portray so much, perhaps more than any other facial feature taken alone. Mouths speak volumes even when we have said nothing at all. I find myself spending hours studying my daughter’s mouth. Is she happy, hungry, sad, or just thinking. She meanwhile spends hours studying mine as I talk to her, trying to form her lips the way mine move.
There are whole jobs dedicated to reading lips and studying the tiniest twitches of peoples’ faces. And yet most of this is taken for granted as we go about our days talking to coworkers and speaking our needs.
Last week I had tonsillitis. It made my throat and mouth hurt terribly. It hurt to eat, it hurt to speak and it hurt to even open my mouth in too big of a smile. I watched my husband and daughter interacting, all smiles and play. I watched people talking. And when needed I did my best to convey my needs through swollen mouth. Mostly, I listened.
When I was younger I was a big listener. I was a big listener because I was too shy to speak in most situations. I have learned to overcome that for most situations. And so this opportunity to be sent back to review was not entirely welcome but was interesting all the same.
I’m grateful for all I learned in reconnecting with being muted. I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow and learn. I’m grateful for all I heard with the time spent listening. And I’m grateful for the observations I made in watching my husband and daughter bonding.
I’m grateful to once again have my voice. I’m grateful to be able to open my mouth to eat. I’m grateful for the help I received over the last week as I took care of myself. And I’m grateful to be feeling much better as I head into a new week.
What would your day look like if you could only observe, not speak? What would you notice that you may otherwise overlook? Would what went unsaid be missed?
May today bless us with the opportunity to balance speaking and listening. May we remember where we came from and where we have arrived today. Have a beautiful day!