pronouns: they, them, their

Listening to our song

Jewish Holiday

Rev. Chani Getter

January 28, 2024

A Tu B’shvat Reflection

I was speaking to a friend yesterday about my forthcoming book. We were discussing what quote I would like to use on the back cover. My initial thought was a quote from Mary Oliver, “What is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” This friend, let’s call her Mary, is the only person to date who has read my entire manuscript in its pre-going-to-the-official-editor version. She paused and said, Chani, what about the quote from Arne Garborg, 

“To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten.”

I paused… I took a deep breath… And another. 

What an incredibly beautiful and meaningful saying. 

It holds in it the desire for connection, to ourselves and to others. It begs us to remember our own song, the one that maybe no one ever sang to us, the one we know is in us somewhere. 

It asks us to notice that each and every one of us has a song. A special way of being in the world. 

Can we listen to the songs of our loved ones? Can we hear the thing they are not saying and reflect it back to them? 

Can we find our own song? And sing, when the world might not have heard it? When we might never have never touched it before? Knowing that it is in there somewhere… waiting to be discovered.

Last week, we celebrated Tu B’shvat, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the trees, the fruits, and the earth. We sat around an interfaith potluck speaking with Muslims, Christians, and Jews about our shared desire to be stewards of the earth. To take care of the earth in a way that we haven’t for many, many generations. 

What might it look like to listen to the earth’s song? To understand that we are in a relationship with her, to be in communication with her needs and to honor our responsibility towards her?

As winter deepens and snow covers the ground, what might it be like to reconnect with our songs? The songs of our heart, the songs of those around us, and the songs of this majestic planet?


PS: Are you yearning to hear life’s songs more deeply this year? I invite you to join my new virtual support group, starting the first week of February. It’s for people who want to fully live, in the midst of all that’s happening in the world. Learn more at and apply by January 31 to join. I’d be honored to hear your song.

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