A couple days ago I went for a walk around one of our little urban lakes. I am trying to walk more as after six months of either overuse injury or hard impact injury, walking seems the only reasonable exercise for the moment. And this locale was a nice change from the trail on which I have walked a lot these past weeks.
As it’s been raining a lot, in the blueberry fields across from the lake there were little puddles everywhere and pairs of ducks were investigating each one. Some of the puddles were in the middle of the path and required a bit of navigation in order to keep dry feet. Along the path, headed in the direction opposite from me was an older gentleman with a pair of binoculars hanging around his neck—clearly a birdwatcher. As we passed each other I asked, “Seen anything interesting?”
His response, “I’ve seen lots that’s interesting, but nothing out of the ordinary.”
Then, as if to appease me, he informed me of about thirty wigeons snacking in the flooded blueberry patch further on.
But I loved his first response, because it made me think. Too often I think that only something out of the ordinary can be something interesting, and I go off seeking it hither and thither. If there’s anything I’ve started to learn from my regular walks on my neighborhood trail (the one I didn’t have to drive to before I could drive again), it’s that the ordinary can be interesting if I only pay attention to it. One week the willow branches are bare. A few days later the fuzzy pussy willow pods poke their heads out. A few more days after that and the pods have expanded and put out their yellow pollen fluffs.
One day there’s only one cherry tree thinking about blooming and a couple days later she’s convinced a couple more. Nothing earth shattering. Nature does this every year, but so often I’m too busy and not paying attention.
About the time we left Switzerland to move back here, I felt like I was finally slowing down enough to enjoy Nature as an ongoing show. The hawk soaring to look for a mouse. The wheat that was green yesterday turning golden today. I forget so quickly. The bird watching man reminded me.