Whispering in the Pines Near Azeitão, Portugal

The term, “whispering in the pines” has been used so much it is probably a cliché. Still, there is really no better word to describe the wonderful sound. “Talking,” “speaking,” “conversing,” “supplicating,” or “praying” don’t seem right either.

Watching the sun rise over the Bay of Troia near Azeitão, Portugal (Photo by Sona Schmidt-Harris)


“Whisper” implies mystery—a mystery that is our job not exactly to decipher, but to perceive as deeply as we can.


This has become clearer to me here in Setubal, Portugal watching the sun rise over the Bay of Troia.


The pines that whisper I don’t believe I have ever seen before. The wind is nearly a constant reminder to listen. That is something my dog, Schpilker does almost constantly, her ears moving backward and forward, up and down. She listens more than I do—a little soul who is said to have the intelligence of a three-year-old child. She and I hear new sounds of which to be suspicious and in which to revel.

The mystery of the whispering of the pines deepens in the pre-dawn moonlight near Azeitão, Portugal.


I need to listen more to that wonderful, “beautiful noise” as Neil Diamond once sang. Auditorily, every moment is different, just like the light of the sunrise is different every second.


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