I was wandering the yard last night just enjoying being out in less than 100 degrees. The wind was blowing and the dragonflies were dipping and swooping. A couple of birds were fussing at me for disturbing their dinner. I thought I was being attentive to my surroundings when I suddenly felt the need to just stop. I stood by the fence for several minutes, staring at the woods, and then turned slowly to continue my walk. That’s when I noticed the leaf in the birdbath.
Stop, look, and listen is an admonition we use in kindergarten each day as we walk across the street to the playground. But it is also one of my favorite soapbox subjects, as you well know. I guess last night even I had forgotten the stop component of it.
There is so much in life that we don’t see because we fail to stop and look.
We are too busy with our schedules.
We are too busy with our lists.
We are too busy with our families.
We are just too busy.
When was the last time you just sat down and did nothing but look and think? Watching television does NOT count.
My great-grandmother loved to sit on her front porch. I sometimes questioned why she did it if there wasn’t any traffic going by or neighbors out and about. She said she just like to “sit with her thoughts”. The quantity of headache medication sold in this country would probably plummet if more people sat with their thoughts for a half hour each evening instead of watching some stupid sitcom.
I stopped in front of the pond last night and looked at how low the water level has dropped. I thought about the vast number of people who have enjoyed it over the years. A friend who is in her nineties recalls fishing in it. German prisoners of war, held in the Caddo gym during World War II, were allowed to swim in this pond for afternoon recreation. Many children learned to swim in it. It has also meant survival for countless generations of wildlife. It gives me a sense of peace and stability to contemplate its role in history.
Stop, look and listen…
a simple but sometimes difficult action in a complicated life.