The Inherent Gifts of Observation

Author: Meera, November 29, 2012

Wild turkeys on the move
through a back field


I saw some wild turkeys today strolling through the acre behind the farmette. If I hadn’t noticed them, I wouldn’t have captured them on film. They disappeared as quickly as they showed up. You have to pay attention for the moment is soon lost.


Some people never lose that childlike wonder of noticing everything in their environment. My grandfather was like that–a veritable treasure trove of information based on the observations of his world. An attitude of gratitude seems to come easily to such individuals, as if noticing and feeling thankful are linked.


Shropshire Lad rose, pure perfection
in symmetry and scent



The Buddhist practice of mindfulness suggests that kind of noticing. For example, if you spot a flower while out walking (perhaps it even grows through a crack in the sidewalk), you might bend down to examine the flower. Does it offer a fragrance, beauty in its perfect symmetry, a ladybug on it’s stem, delicate leaf, or a gentle sway in the breeze as if it is dancing? These are the gifts the flower offers, the gifts it holds for you when you take the time to notice.



The honeybee queen’s “house”



I like working with the bees and seeing up close their world within the hive. I had never seen a “queen house.” When I did for the first time I felt astonishment at how perfectly functional it was. Honeybees create comb to seal in the honey–their food (and ours)–and these honeycombs and queen houses are functional, perfectly formed, and beautiful to gaze upon.



For my grandfather (and also in my own experience) observing nature’s glory conjures feelings of appreciation for so many blessings–the ability to see, hear, feel, touch, think, and sense what is present, what co-exists around us. This renders the perspective that we humans are mere specks in cosmic creation.


Our lives are richer when we appreciate what we have and take time to notice how richly adorned our lives are.







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