Yesterday I spent a lot of time outside. I carved out some time to just sit and watch the world around me.
I noticed quickly that a lot has changed in a short amount of time; summer is indeed on the way. It was hard not to be aware of my surroundings. Every few minutes, something would grab my attention and I would look up from my book to see what was scurrying about.
Once it was a black bird chasing a squirrel from tree branch to tree branch. Another time, it was a red-headed woodpecker hammering away at a felled tree. Between the hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other small creatures, it was quite the show.
Just two weeks ago we found a black bear in our front yard, clearly hungry after his long, recent slumber. He casually strolled away with a bag of our trash, as if he’d done it many times before. (Neighbors concurred that he had.)
My wild neighbors have been busy, to say the least. They are preparing for summer.
Later, I took a walk and noticed that several more types of wildflowers were beginning to emerge, flashing their bright colors as if in competition with the stalks next to them. It occurred to me that there have been many years when I missed all of this. I had been caught up in my career, busy with home projects, distracted by life. Whether or not I noticed, it was happening all around me.
I admit, it’s difficult to be aware of everything all the time, especially when you’re bombarded with emails and deadlines. But cultivating awareness is a form of self-care. It requires a committed effort to carving out moments in the day to notice the little things–and to be grateful for them.
What have you noticed emerging in your area of the world?