Today I noticed…. The bugs. I was standing in the yard. Standing still in order to capture a photograph of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird that is coming to my feeder. Standing still and getting a little warm as the sun beat down on me. Standing still and being eaten alive by bugs. On my legs. On my arms. They went in my eyes. In my ears. Up my nose. Exercising a tremendous amount of self control I tried not to scratch at the little bites, but it was incredibly hard. It was very difficult to channel my mind to stay focused on my task. My task, which was to stand about five feet from my new hummingbird feeder, without moving, and get a photograph that wasn’t blurry, not too shady, and was interesting. I finally got a picture that will suffice for now, but it was an intense effort. Not too different from the times that I have tried to meditate, when as soon as I close my eyes I begin to fidget. My legs hurt, my toe itches, my eyebrow needs to be scratched. I have noticed that once your attention is required for something, everything, everyone else begins to vie for your attention. I have noticed that if I embark on an activity that is important to me, not cooking dinner, which is certainly important, but a necessary importance rather than a personal importance, someone will interrupt. It’s like the old joke, want to find your kids? Get on the phone. I rarely use the phone as my parents can attest, so for me, if I want my children to come storming for my attention all I need to do is open the laptop and begin to type, begin writing in my journal, stand outside motionless with my camera, begin a yoga practice, think the thought “what should I do now that everyone is occupied?” I swear they can hear thoughts. Even though they seem impervious to words and directions that are directed their way. In fact, I can’t believe how much I have typed while they remain upstairs playing and arguing, but maybe it is because I have a sense of urgency and a sense of foreboding. It’s when I feel like I might get away with it that I am always bombarded with the urgency of the unimportant.
I noticed that some of the nectarines in the tree where I hung the hummingbird feeder are beginning to turn red. I noticed that a lot of the finches, titmouse (titmice?), and woodpeckers are very grateful that I have returned the black-oil feeders to the tree and filled them. I noticed that all of my suet feeders are empty and probably should be refilled. I noticed that the air is cool, which is a very pleasant surprise, because Virginia in June is usually a very hot and humid month. I noticed that a wasp had found the hummingbird feeder and that I should probably put the pest guard on when I make up a new batch of simple syrup. I noticed that the elderberries are completely in blossom and I remembered how last year, or was it the year before, I made an elderberry blossom drink recommended by a Brooklyn hipster blog. I noticed that the mulberries are almost ripe and I noticed my children working together to gather blackcaps before Heidi, the dog, eats them all.
Today I noticed that I am seeing the world more. I have been journeying through the Artist’s Way and for week two she said you will begin to notice the world more. And, she’s right. Not only am I noticing things to write in my morning pages, but I am also trying to notice more to write here. I notice the sounds and sights. Even the hugs flying my eyes have helped me crystallize my day more succinctly. My focus is shifting outward, which is a very good thing.