Normally when I walk into work, I am so focused, so rushed, thinking about not losing any time, what I need to get for dinner, did I put the right school lunch into the right bag, what was on my desk the day before, damn I forgot the washing in the washing machine, you know how it goes! I have always been so focused on stuff, that I have never actually looked up to see what my surroundings look like. But the other day it was different, I had some kind of fever, battling a flu of sorts, and I knew I should have been at home snuggled up on the couch. As I walked towards our office, I wasn’t thinking, I wasn’t focused, I was in a daze, a fog of fever you might say! But something was different, for the first time in three years, I saw how beautiful my surroundings really were. I looked up and saw the soft, mystical fog, blanketing the lush, green hills, speckled with houses and winding roads. It looked magnificent, and I couldn’t believe I had never seen it before. I had looked at it, but I had never actually taken the time to see it.
When I got into work, I walked into the kitchen and saw the most beautiful bird, (pictured above), perched on a branch outside the window. It was standing on a burnt tree branch, (there had been a fire next door a few months back, and the trees are still burnt and black). But in the middle of the charred remains of this tree, stood this beautiful splash of colour, this gorgeous creature, which stood there and starred at me. I thought to myself, “Don’t move, it will fly away”, but I desperately wanted to go and get my phone so I could take a photo to show my kids. So I did. (The photo is a bit fuzzy but I took it through the flyscreen!). I rushed back, expecting that it would have flown away, but it hadn’t. It was still there looking at me. We shared a moment, the bird and I! I went closer to the window and it bounced on the branch and squawked, like it was talking to me! I thought, “If anyone walks in now or sees me, they will think I’m nuts for sure!” But I didn’t care. It suddenly dawned on me. I’m always carrying on, telling my kids to be a part of the moment, to live life, experience their surroundings, take them in and appreciate them and their beauty. But have I been doing that? No, I’ve been guilty of doing the exact opposite to what I have been telling them to do. I have been the one so caught up in life’s rush and expectations, that I have forgotten how to live in the moment, experience what it has to offer, appreciate it and be a part of it. I have forgotten how to see.
So thanks bird, you reminded me of something that has always been so important to me, but something that I had forgotten, to stop and appreciate life, to live it every day and love it, and to never take anything for granted.