Flowers in California

Flowers in California

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Paying Attention In Our Interesting World

It's good to have the ability to concentrate.  When we give someone our full attention, focus intently on a task we are performing or immerse ourselves in something we are reading, we give and take so much more from the experience than we do when we are not fully present in the moment.  I think it's worthwhile to try to concentrate well.

In concentrating well, though, we shut out distractions.  We have to.  There are so many.  In doing this, though, we miss things.  There's so much going on around us.  Some of it is amazing if we stop to think about it.

This year, it seems there are more birds than usual hanging out around our house.  A lot of them are robins and there are some magpies.  Judging by the way a magpie devoured a robin on the front lawn last week, I don't think that the two types get along well.  I suspect the threat of being eaten by someone would put a strain on a friendship but, thankfully, I don't know that from personal experience.  I do know that there is much activity that goes on in the bird world. From chirping to squawking, mysterious rustling in trees and the occasional chase, birds keep busy. To us, however, the sights and sounds of the birds are often a nuisance if they're noticed at all.  While they represent a fascinating piece of nature, we'd like birds to keep the noise down.

A sound that I hear right now, and which is so common to hear, is that of a plane.  Unless one sounds particularly low or loud, I don't think we notice planes much at all.  But each flight is so interesting.  Each one is made up of people who have their own reasons for travel - business, pleasure, family matters.  Some flights are smooth, some are kind of scary.  There may be pets very ready for the flight to be over and babies who think the whole thing was a bad idea (and they want everyone to know it).  As we go about our lives though, we barely notice a plane in the sky.  We don't consider all that is carried in each flight that goes by.

Living in a city, we often hear sirens.  We will never know why emergency services were called each time we hear their wail.  In some cases, they mean there is a serious crisis situation for people who live nearby.  We would care if we knew but we are not afforded the opportunity.  There can be so many reasons for emergency calls and again, to us, they become simply more noise to shut out.

We have to shut out these and other sights and sounds to concentrate.  But if we want to pay attention to them sometimes, they are there for us to notice and consider.  The world is so interesting, even right outside our doors.  And I think I'd better pay some attention to the birds around the house.  There really are a lot of them and I don't know what they're up to.  I don't want to end up like that poor robin.


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