To pay attention…


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To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.

-Mary Oliver

A hawk schooled me today. There I was with my nose in a book walking across campus when not twenty feet to my right, a hawk blew past me with a large squirrel hanging from its talons. What an incredible sight. I looked around me and there was just one other person walking in front of me on his headphones. He was not phased by the creature. I stood motionless. My eyes moving with the hawk’s flight. It perched itself up in the barren tree content to hold its kill as it watched the kids pass by bundled up against the frigid winds. I braved pulling off my glove to get a picture; it was way too cold to zoom in or adjust. Just snap.

I walked back to my office with my book closed and lodged between papers in my backpack. I looked at the Cuzzins yogurt shop with the chairs flipped over on the tables. When did that place start closing at 2 pm? Maybe some day I will open an ice cream store like Ri and I used to talk about doing on Grandview Ave. when she was 4 years old. I watched as a young kid motioned his arms up and down to the beat of what must have been some good rappin’ on his iPod. I wondered if Mario would be engaging in these same moves when he’s a teenager or whether he’d be jamming out to his uncle Jack’s funk or maybe his own jams; will he learn piano or the drums or the sax, like Jackson? I stared too long at a guy who wore shorts and a t-shirt and casually strolled down High Street in the -4 degree weather as if it was mid-Summer. And I thought of Ri and her ability to go outside during these past couple of weeks with no hat or gloves and survive. She has Jon’s and my warm blood in her. After all, she stayed at the sledding hill a half hour after Mario left freezing and after I begged her to go (noticing it was 1 degree on my phone).

Oh, so this is what it is like to walk without a book in hand or a phone or a magazine or a law article. Oh… what a treat to observe things and people and moments, to imagine what life may have in store, to smile at a past memory with my kids.

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