Each morning, I try to do three things. One of them is to “look up”. Literally, this refers to raising my eyes from the ground, directing them up and around instead. (Figuratively, it means to, uh, look up.)
Accordingly, I’ve lately been passing time by paying attention to birds. I’ve long had a casual interest, but now I find myself identifying and recording the birds I see. (Though I’m hardly a hardcore birder.)
Noticing birds slows me down. I used to always walk onward, quickly. Now, when there’s a particularly interesting bird around, I slow or stop my walking. Sometimes I retrace my steps to follow it. Watching birds encourages me to drop out of the slipstream, to stop and stand in wonder.
It also deepens my appreciation for local, natural histories that usually pass unnoticed. For example, last December I saw a hawk take down a pigeon. Returning to that spot on Friday night, I found what seemed to be the pigeon’s feathers, uncovered after the melt. Watching birds attunes me to a host of stories that carry on in their own way, humbling me.
Anyhow, my brain is slow today and my body just wants to be outside. So off I go. All the best for the week ahead!