Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nature Notes: Only a Moment

Can you name this wildflower?

“Happiness is not a brilliant climax to years of grim struggle and anxiety. It is a long succession of little decisions simply to be happy in the moment.” - J. Donald Walters

Michelle at Rambling Woods hosts the Nature Notes meme. She reminds us to connect with the natural world around us and to express our feelings about what we find there. I usually turn it into a photo project. But today I'm just going to be still for a while.

Have you ever watched a bird in flight, how it folds its wings for a few beats, allowing itself a moment of falling through the sky?

I work in a call center all day where my body, spirit, eyes, and ears are under continuous assault. I have this day off, and I'm taking a precious few hours for my own. No cleaning, no shopping, no phone calls. At least for a little while. No TV or radio, either. No washing machine or dishwasher, no vacuum or lawnmower noise. Just me here, typing quietly by the open window.

Over the course of these few months of living close to nature, I have become deeply aware of the fleeting quality of life, the achingly ephemeral beauty of each moment. Now, this flower nods in the woods; the next hour it has gone forever.

Now, there is utter silence. Now the wind comes sighing through the tall grass, a crow calls, and a chorus of birds begins to sing.

One breath is only air. The next is filled with honeysuckle perfume, and the one after that brings a rumor of freshly cut grass.

A hummingbird zooms to the feeder on its impossible little wings, sips nectar, its tiny throat pulsing as it swallows, and is gone.

A turkey head pops up from a deceptively empty-looking hay field, then another and another, and another. They turn their sharp eyes this way and that, periscopes above a nodding green sea, and finding no enemies they sink back below the waves.

A hawk appears from nowhere, soaring alone from east to west, and disappears into the dark shadows of the trees. Where the hawk goes today, at least one small life will end.

That small creature does not concern itself with time or the ending of it. It lives only today, now, this moment. It is all we have, any of us. And it is enough. Enough.





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17 comments:

Sallyacious said...

THAT is beautiful. You enjoy your moment of quiet and stillness. We all need that from time to time. Few of us take it. Good for you for recognizing the need.

Char said...

Your words and the picture are both lovely. Thanks for sharing.

Leora said...

How nice to enjoy your time off by appreciating nature. And sharing it with us. I especially like the depiction of the sipping hummingbird.

CJ said...

Beautiful photo.

I know what you mean about your senses being bombarded at a call center. I retired from 32 years of teaching (also bombarded senses) but a few years later I took a customer service job at a major wireless company. I was told I'd answer questions about billing ---and when I started, calls were mostly about price plans & bills---fairly easy, Then they added text, photos, videos, Blackberries, push-to-talk and we had to troubleshoot the phones---and each week there was a new price plan, gadget. phone, or technology to master. I wanted to leave after 4 years, but stuck it out for 6+. Looking back, I'm surprised I lasted that long. I am usually calm about everything, but I was totally stressed out there. And sitting 7.5 hr/day caused lower back problems I'm still fighting. So ---stand up when you can, move around, walk on breaks, and continue to appreciate nature on your days off.

mapleview said...

Wow..this is beautiful. You put into words the feelings I get as I sit at the window typing...I just can't find the words to express it like you do...Thank you....Michelle

Joanna said...

Lovely words you've put down there. It made me stop and take some time in my day. Thank you.

RJ Flamingo said...

Add my echo: That's just beautiful. In every sense. The photography is gorgeous and the sentiment obvious, yet profound.

Nicole said...

Beautiful words and so true.

My husband went for the States 4 weeks ago and I haven't had the TV on or the radio since then. Just the birdies and snoring doggies ;)

The flower shot is beautiful too. No idea what it could be. Wild Geranium?

MyMaracas said...

Sally, thanks. I hope you too find some breathing time in your crazy summer this year.


Char, thanks -- and you're welcome.

Leora, I'm really enjoying the hummingbirds. I just put up a feeder, and they found it the same day.

MyMaracas said...

CJ, we have the same thing, where the job becomes ever more complicated, the demands ever higher, and the pace faster every year. I think only people who have actually worked in a call center can understand how intense and stressful it is. I come home completely drained. But the pay is decent and the benefits are great, at least where I work, so I can't complain.

I have a teaching degree, and I did my student teaching the last year of college, but I never had a teaching job. Sometimes I wonder how that might have turned out.

I ended up in completely different fields, had kids ... you know how it goes. I didn't intend to stay this long at the call center, but inertia carried me along. That and the promise of a traditional pension in addition to a 401k with great matching. You don't find that very often anymore.

Losing this job will be tough, but it's going to force me to do something better. In some ways, it will be a relief when it's over.

MyMaracas said...

Michelle, thanks so much. And I love the way you put things into words at your blog! It's a joy to read.

MyMaracas said...

Joanna, Great! I'm so glad you took that moment. I think we all need a few every now and then.

RJ, thanks so much for you kind commentary. I'm glad you came by, and I'm glad you liked the post.

MyMaracas said...

Nicole, isn't it amazing how much more relaxed you feel without all the electronic stimulation? And as much as we hate to admit it, a little time apart from the significant other is refreshing, too.

I googled wild geranium images. The leaves are similar, but the flowers are different. Thanks for the suggestion, though, and for helping me to narrow down the possibilities.

Carver said...

This was a beautiful post. I loved the photograph and the words too!

MyMaracas said...

Thanks, Carver, and thanks for stopping by!

~ Lor said...

Loved this post and ironically it was much needed right now, thank you.

MyMaracas said...

You are so welcome, Lor. Thanks for reading it and for your kind comment.