Noticing

I had a flurry of a week, and a flurry of the last many weeks for that matter. It caught up to me. I was feeling thin of soul and not so good of body. I have a dissertation to write, and am trying to write it at an accelerated pace. Come late April, a little baby girl will be drawing my attention.

My dissertation was approved on Tuesday and I had an interview for an adjunct position on Wednesday. Both went extremely well.

But I’m not much of a salesman, and when the selling is that of myself, even if it goes well, I find myself drained, distracted. My introversion kicks in, and my body apparently joined forces in saying that it just wasn’t eager for a more active day.

After working on my online classes (teaching and facilitating), I realized that it was an entirely lovely day outside. There was a decided chill in the air where the sun wasn’t shining, a chill breeze–chill for California at least. I was working with my laptop out there and within a few moments noticed new birds, birds new to my seeing them here at least, one flying in from a distant branch, bright yellow and a cheery song. Another rustled from within a bush, then emerging and sat on the fence, all black head and mottled orange body. I should have had my camera out then. My birding skill is a bit like my star gazing, occasional bursts of knowledge gained, seeping slowly away over the course of weeks and months, or more, from applying my training in the field. So, I had some suggestions about their names, but not at all confident about it.

Seeing birds for me is like getting to know the real neighborhood, the native visitors whose genes and instincts have led them hereabouts, fitting them in with the land and the trees, telling me more about where I am, really am, tuning my being with this place. I’ve been a bit flat, you see, and never quite got the hang of the key of Pasadena.

I didn’t take pictures of those birds. They did inspire me to get my camera out and see what else there was to see on this sunny winter day.

Just in time to see a squirrel bounding over the neighbor’s fence, across an oak branch to a more sturdy limb, with an orange in his mouth. Quickly peeled and a fine citrus treat it was. No oranges on this side, but there were a few lemons in the tree and I picked them, putting them into a bowl.

An orange I too would eat. I’m not quite sure what to do with the lemons. Amy came home and suggested sorbet. Good idea. I forget where the ice cream maker was put. And I don’t think there’s any room in the freezer. Thus the lemons remain in the bowl, a gentle challenge.

This is what I noticed today:

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