Moments Passed, Moments Noticed

Recently, I went for a walk in the evening to clear my head.  I emerged from my thoughts long enough to look up and notice the illumination of the clouds in the eastern sky.  I snapped this photo with my cell phone:

This got my attention!
This got my attention!

I walked a hilly cul-de-sac and upon heading east again, I looked up, anxious to see how the sunset light show had changed.  I thought maybe I would be blessed with an even more beautiful display.  I was surprised to find this:

Seven minutes later....
Seven minutes later….

In the span of seven minutes, the glow had disappeared.  The beautiful display obviously intended to be brief, and only for those who paused long enough to take notice.  Of course, this got me thinking (and dashed all hopes of clearing my head, haha.)

It made me wonder how many moments like this in life I miss because I’m wrapped up in the unimportant stuff that I allow to consume me… those worries that seem so large.  The funny thing is, these thoughts that occupy my mind are often things that no amount of obsessing over will resolve because the variables are completely out of my control.  I’m finally starting to learn that maybe, just maybe, being outside my head is a happier place 🙂

Sometimes taking notice of things around me takes a more humorous turn.  I’ve told the kids countless times not to leave their cups on the table.  Aaaand, their cups are always left on the table.  One day, within forty minutes of each other, I took the following photos:

Sure, there are three water dishes, but "forbidden" water tastes better
Sure, there are 3 water dishes, but “forbidden” water tastes better
Well if she gets "forbidden" water, I want it too!
Well if she gets “forbidden” water, I want it too!

That day, my younger son got home from school and refilled his water cup.  After he took a drink, I showed him the photos thinking maybe he would see why he shouldn’t leave his cup on the table.  He did turn a little green so I got all smug, thinking my point had been made and the table would now be cup-free.

Nope.  Cups are still left on the table; the only difference is, they each use 5 cups a day instead of 1. Oh, and they always leave fresh water in them for the cats- “because it’s cute.”  (Um, no it’s not…)

Sigh. I didn’t see that one coming.

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I Know Why They Stay

04-13 Butterfly

On the bench I sit, in the middle of the park,

frozen in time, while the world bustles around me.

I watch life happen, but don’t dare take part

for I know what many others can’t see.

I spy a young girl, no older than seven or eight,

bouncing toward her weary mother.

She squeals, “good things come to those who wait!”

I see the butterfly perched on her outstretched finger.

As the girl nears the woman sitting beside me,

The butterfly’s damaged wings capture my attention.

“She won’t fly. Doesn’t she realize there’s a world to see?”

Her brow now furrowed, she poses the question.

The mother sets an open magazine upon her lap,

“The butterfly must feel at home on the finger of my sweet girl,”

“Perhaps she’s tired, so she’s decided to take a little nap?”

The response, obvious shelter from the ways of the world.

I avert my gaze, should it betray knowledge of the disappointing truth,

I’m not a butterfly expert, but I know exactly why they stay:

It matters not whether they rest or move,

Death befalls them either way.

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Here’s where I share inspiration for my poetry.  This will be short!  The thought occurred to me that sometimes no matter what I do, the outcome is the same, so why bother.  (I know, that is isn’t very hopeful of me.)  Then, I decided I wanted to write a story poem with that theme.  The butterfly was simply the captured creature of opportunity, as I had a photo that I’d taken a couple years ago during a visit to Shenandoah.

Stepping Aside

01-20 Hallway_Door-Monticello

Every morning, I let our dogs outside. Every morning, our 16-year-old Yorkie Poo barks when she’s ready to come in. Every morning, I open the door, but she just stands there staring at me. I try to call her inside and get her to move because I know what’s coming.  I hear collar tags jingling and rapid footsteps barreling toward the door. Then, it happens: our Golden Retriever tramples the small dog as she tears into the house. Every day, the Yorkie Poo gets up and looks a little dazed like she’s trying to figure out what just happened; then she will come inside.

As an outsider (who happens to be warm and cozy standing inside,) it’s obvious to see that if she either walked in when the door opened or moved aside, she wouldn’t get stepped on.  This got me thinking about how I sometimes get stuck in the routine of doing the same thing and expecting different results, whether it be dealing with people at work, home, or even my own behavior and reactions to things.

When I feel the frustration of enduring repeated offenses, I need to remember to pause and look at the situation differently. There just might be a solution as obvious as stepping away from an open door.

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It’s been a while since I’ve written fiction, but on Thursday, I will post a story inspired by another one of Emilio Pasquale’s fabulous photos.  I hope you’ll come back and check it out – he certainly gave me a challenge this time 🙂

I See The Earth Move (Almost) Under My Feet

Do you see the horned toad?  I almost didn't, but it caught my eye when it scurried to this bigger rock.
Do you see the horned toad? I almost didn’t, but it caught my eye when it scurried across my path, to rest near this bigger rock.
I heard leaves rustle by the plant I was watering after dark.  I was relieved when I found the noise belong to this guy and not a rattlesnake!
I heard leaves rustle by the tree I was watering after dark. I was relieved when I found the noise belong to this toad and not a rattlesnake!

Twice, within a week of each other, I’ve been surprised by something I didn’t see while outdoors.  I think I’m aware of my surroundings, however, these encounters make me realize that my eyes are open, but I’m looking only for what I expect to see.

Over-thinking this, as I tend to do, my thoughts progressed to how I see what I expect in other areas of my life.  I also thought about how I find comfort blending into my surroundings.  Being naturally shy (but much more social than in my younger years), I find myself more often an observer than participant.

Today, I want to set my expectations aside and really see.   I want to see someone differently than I expect based on superficial observations.  I want to join a conversation I would normally be content to watch from afar.

Most of all, I want to be surprised by what I’ve been missing.

Do you ever find yourself looking but not seeing?

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P.S.  I’m still on vacation in Washington D.C.  I’ll have to catch up on visiting blogs when I get back.  I can read posts just fine on my phone but commenting is a big pain in the neck!   My next post will be June 21st, with the weekend Trifecta challenge.  Have a wonderful week 🙂