On a recent walk, I came upon a hawk in an open field. It was just sitting there, perfectly still, until it wasn’t. In a split second, it had a rabbit in its mouth and flew away with lunch. I stopped another walker to watch, but had I not, she would have passed by oblivious to the majestic bird in front of her.
Another day, I looked down and saw a four-foot long snake along the side of the road. Fortunately, it was dead so I did not scare the neighbors with my hysteria. (I will spare you the photos, but believe it to be a copperhead.) It was as fascinating to look at as the hawk (because it was D.E.A.D.), and this, too, I would have missed had I been driving or concentrating on content through my headphones or even lost in daydreaming as I strolled.
As I have written about before,* I try to be present when I am out walking. I think the mental attention is as important as the physical exercise, and both provide a needed break from the work routine.
I wonder how I could be better if I applied that consciousness as I walk around work. Is there a “snake” that I miss as I hurry to the next meeting? Have I missed the actions of a hawk that warrants appreciation? Would I see connections that apply to other things if I paid more attention?
The next time you’re off to another place, whether it be to an appointment, a store or an event, try to heighten your awareness on the way there. Who knows what lessons may slither across your path.
*See Blog #1105, June 11, 2015