I don’t know if it’s the pandemic or just aging, but I find my sense of time shifting. No longer are my eyes fixed firmly on the future. Things that used to preoccupy me—goals, plans, even a sense of purpose—have faded away.
It’s as if my eyes have swung away from the horizon and dropped to the ground. More and more, the small, the ordinary, the familiar everyday moment captures my attention: jays falling like blue rain from tree branches to scoop up sunflower seeds strewn about; wild turkeys lurching ponderously through steep snow; the soup bowl filled with fragrant pieces of orange yam, red tomatoes and green beans.
I don’t pretend to have achieved some enlightened state of presence. I still check my calendar, and make my weekly to-do list. I still worry about the planet. I still dream of walking through Scotland one day.
But I bustle less. I stare out the window more. As the arc of my life curves towards its inevitable and unknown end, I’m happily (even greedily) savouring the world’s delights, so abundantly and freely given.
Feather at Midday
If I had not stopped to watch
a feather flying by,
I would not have seen its landing—
a tiny pure white feather.
Gently, I blew a soft breath
to send it back to the spring.
If I had not looked up to watch
the feather gliding over the roof,
I would not have seen
the crescent moon
hanging at midday.
~ Sister Dang Nghiem