When I began thinking about inventions I love, I checked the origin of the word, and found that the word ‘invent’ comes from the Latin word which means ‘come to’ or ‘come upon’. So, I began thinking … what inventions have I ‘come to’ or ‘come upon’ in my life that have really made a difference for me? 

         Well, very lately, in these quite illuminating elder years, I discovered several ‘inventions’: 

         Silence is the first invention I came upon, just in the last 20 years or so – this amazing presence that has always been hovering around me, but that I only discovered – bumped into – in its fullness and glory, right in the midst of my typically hectic life. Ta-da! There it was, directly in front of me at about the age of 50 – silence with all its mightiness and majesty. The power of silence had been with me for all my years, but only in my elder years did I stumble upon it. Now, I truly love the invention called silence. I try to use it at least as often as my cellphone! 

         Listening is another invention that I only recently ‘came upon’. The power to listen was ‘invented’ in me at my birth, and it’s been standing faithfully inside me for all my years, waiting for me to truly discover it and start actually using and enjoying it.  Unfortunately, I failed to appreciate this marvelous invention for many decades, until it finally dawned on me that the ability to listen is a skill of boundless beauty and sublimity. So, in these attention-grabbing senior years, I have finally been able to actually use the invention of listening – to listen with appreciation to words people say, to songs sung by birds and crickets and cars on highways, even to the endlessly diversified barks of dogs, even to the soft sounds as I stroke my beard. 

         I can’t wait to ‘come upon’ the other wondrous inventions I have overlooked for 78 years!

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