So much of our attention is taken from us. The internet, cell phones, computers, texting, advertising, the news, podcasts, television shows, and more, are specifically and smartly designed to trap our attention. We’re often like critters that are lured into a trap by the pull of food. I’ve certainly felt this myself. In the midst of being engaged and involved in these smart traps, I’ll wake up and think, “I’m not enjoying this” and I’ll drop it and do something that’s fun and natural for me.
One of the things I like to do is noticing. For me this means being fascinated by the things going on around and within me. There are so many little things that often go unnoticed, but when seen bring me a great delight.
I went noticing this morning while out for a walk on a backroad near my home. I brought my notebook with me so I could record and share some of them with you:
The sound of my feet scuffing the asphalt. Each step a different sound. It was like my feet were having a conversation.
The sun warming my arms. It felt like the sun traveled 93,000,000 miles to be gentle on my skin.
A thought as a car passed me: “I must look pretty funny taking notes as I walk. I must seem like a journalist of the streets.”
The sound of a far off airplane. I imagined the people on board, reading books, watching movies on their laptops, eating airplane peanuts. thinking about what they’ll do when they land. Maybe one of them is looking out their window. If anything, I’d be like a speck of dust to them.
A dog is howling at me from inside a house. The dog seems furious that I’m anywhere near it’s property. I get a feeling of wanting to pet its head.
An interesting tree by the side of the road, bent in many quirky directions. It’s more interesting to look at than the trees that just go straight up. I wondered if trees care about how they look as much as people. Probably not because being around trees makes me feel peaceful.
A leaf falls as I walk by a tree. It moved with the wind and make a delicious crisp sound as it landed on the ground.
I notice the hot air as I move through it. It’s kind of like walking through water. I’m fascinated that the air there, but I can’t see it.
I hear my breath. What a wonderful sound. I remember back to when I was sick and had difficulty breathing. I feel like a multi-millionaire that I breathe well now.
Dead skunk – so pungent! It woke up my nose.
So many different varieties of plants growing along the side of the road. They seem to get along well, standing next to each other. But I got a sense that it’s a different story underground as the roots fight one another for nutrients.
A critter scurries under dead leaves. It’s going somewhere fast. I wonder if it’s a mouse. I figure they are constantly concerned with not being eaten by the bigger critters.
A thought: “I wonder if you’ll find these observations interesting.”
Noticing the aged asphalt. It’s cracked in places, worn down in others, dirt and car stains show up in various patterns. I think that it’s much more interesting than a smooth road. Just like people.
A bug flies right between me and the paper as I write this!
I’m fascinated by a dead tree. It’s still standing upright. Without leaves, it looks like a tree flipped upside down, exposing its roots.
There’s an old, leaning, and decomposing barn next to the road. I want to touch it so slightly, and imagine it collapsing with a thud I could feel through the ground.
There’s a Sunday paper, rolled up in plastic, quietly laying on someone’s front yard. I imagine all the activity and sounds that went into it’s production, the writers who did the interviews and wrote the stories, typing away on their computers, the people working the loud, clangy printing presses late last night, probably while I was sleeping, and the person who got up really early to throw it on the lawn. I thought about the lawn, supporting the paper, not being able to read it, and not caring to.
Watching my legs and feet and body carry me forward. They work together as an amazing machine. I feel like I’m riding in the most amazing transportation.