I spent the majority of the day preparing for an audit at work. It was a time sensitive task, and I was feeling tense. I eventually reached the point where I needed to take a break and clear my head, so I went for a walk in the park outside the center.
I walked along the path toward the lake, and left work behind as I focused on the here and now. The brightness of the sun made me squint, the temperature was in the 80s, and a heavy, stifling humidity filled the air. There was only a gentle whisper of a hot breeze. It was the type of day that my grandma would have described as "close".
I know we often look but don't really see, so I sat on the bench, took a few deep breaths, and immersed myself in the scenery. I started noticing all kinds of birds, insects and greenery. The lake was covered with gentle rolling waves, and the sunlight was dancing off the swells.
I relaxed, and my shoulders dropped. I was present.
I sat for several more minutes, watching the birds, the gentle lapping of the waves, and listening to the buzz of the bees who were visiting flower to flower nearby (there were 3 different kinds of bees).
I started thinking about how we busy ourselves with so many worries and activities that distract us from enjoying the richness of the present moment. Just then, a redheaded woodpecker flew by and landed on the nearby telephone pole. I looked up, and noticed a seagull sitting atop the same pole. I felt at peace, quiet, contented.
Then, I picked up my phone to see if I could find a wise thought to pon der while sitting in this paradise. Suddenly, there was a loud laugh. I looked over and realized the sound was coming from the seagull atop the pole. His, or her, head was tilted way back and the bird was laugh ing!
Some of you may consider this nothing special, but I'd never heard a seagull laugh before (it's a real thing. Google it.). I couldn't help but laugh out loud.
I'm sure it was just random timing, but the moment I felt pulled away from the present to look for some wise saying, the present moment seemed to laugh at me.
Hmmmm. Perhaps there's a valuable lesson here?
Bob Payne, Manager