Not Just a Puff of Air

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A sigh is a sigh is a sigh. Happy ones and sad.

Merriam Webster defines a sigh as an involuntary act especially when expressing an emotion or feeling; or the sound of gently moving or escaping air like wind sighing in the branches.

It seems a sigh suffices quite well without words.

What journeys forth in one exhaled breath could paint a masterpiece—each sigh brimming colors without the brushstrokes of the spoken word.

Joy, grief, exhilaration, confusion, surprise, frustration, anger, or loneliness for example, might reside in a person’s private inner canvas. But a sigh, wittingly or unwittingly, immediately offers the world some breadth into the deepest palette of one’s heart.

It’s part of how we humans operate.

It’s substantive. It’s expressive. It’s also therapeutic.

Researchers reveal that people sigh approximately 12 times every hour! A recent study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford University classified the sigh as a life-sustaining reflex that prevents air sacs in the lungs (alveoli) from collapsing. Those alveoli inflate and allow oxygen to pass easily into the blood.

Hmmm…maybe the world is one big exchange of vital exhalations—emotional and biological. I remember one arborist who claimed to be able to sense the exhalations of trees!

On a contemplative albeit sorrowful note, there’s been quite a lot to sigh about in this land we live in and around the world of late. Just pick up any newspaper or streaming service. We could use a little more love don’t you think?

What does love look like?….It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.
—Augustine of Hippo (the saint)

But, of course, there’s breathtaking beauty to sigh about, too. Somehow, the sighs born out of exhilarating awe seem to promote positivity and healing. For me, the snow-blanketed mountain range of Indian Peaks Wilderness in Colorado did just that on a recent trip.


Here’s a robin egg with the amniotic membranes still visible in the shell. That little creature just got launched into the vast sky above our heads.

There’s a zillion sighs across our planet that connect us to humanity and to creation in a universal way. That breeze touching your cheek? It might just bear the weight of a shared sigh released across the earth and the heavens.

Thanks for stopping by.,sighing%20for%20days%20gone%20by