On my walk this afternoon, I had three different encounters with nature that resulted in my mouth grinning and my heart lifting:
1) I instinctively read everything that my eyes see. Stop signs, cereal boxes, text on the sides of school buses… my mind can’t help but read it all. So when I passed this yard sign today, I read the message before I saw the message (i.e., the dragonfly perched right on the top-middle of it). Wonderful.
2) Trudging up a moderate hill, I was sweating under the rather intense heat of the day (high 80s [F], feels like 90+ in the sunshine) – when I saw my very first peek of the seasonal change that is soon to come. The contrast between feeling summer and seeing fall was simultaneously jarring and enjoyable.
3) A few minutes from my home, I saw a man (probably in his mid 60s) standing completely motionless on the walking path. At first I wondered if he was okay, but then I saw him staring at something off to the side of the park. I approached the scene very slowly, and as I drew closer the man mouthed to me: “hawk” – then motioned his eyes to his left. I stopped, turned to my right (his left), and on the fence saw a brown-and-white bird – nay, hawk – perched, almost motionless. I didn’t dare reach for my camera, lest my motion be detected by the hawk and initiate his departure – and end the magical moment.
After two seconds of staring and admiring, the hawk did fly away – and the man and I walked slowly towards one another. He explained, “That was a young Coopers hawk; they fly low amid the trees looking for mice and other small animals. Amazing.”
I simply smiled and nodded, grateful to have been able to experience the encounter with someone.
And now, grateful to get to share it with all of you.