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.

— beth triplett

*See Blog #1105, June 11, 2015

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