Monday, March 25, 2024


I will never not miss walking in my former neighborhoods--the relatively rural suburbs of Bothell and Lake Forest Park. During the daytime I was always aware of animal life--there was always something to listen to, from hawks, robins, and eagles to crows, geese, and sparrows. Squirrels, both gray and red, could be heard scolding during the day and owls hooted or cayotes howled at night. 

It was impossible to forget we shared the earth with all God's critters. Not infrequently I'd stop to admire a spider's astonishingly symmetrical web or the teeth marks of active beavers working along the Sammamish River. 

Now that I live in a densely cemented urban neighborhood, I hear sirens more than any other sound, with seagulls, pigeons and an occasional crow being mostly the only birds sounds.  I still stop to admire and investigate interesting sights when I'm walking, however. This scene stopped me cold in my tracks! Had the feet of a monster been cast into this pipe?  Five toes each on what looked like two claws were sticking out of the middle of this pipe stacked at a construction site.

On the same day, I noticed other things, too--more natural, perhaps, but especially evident because of the location. The light and shadow on the vertical surface of a building in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood caught my eye. I paused to take in the contrast of light and shadows on the side of the structure. It was a lovely momentary gift of visual delight in a world of concrete. Just seeing it made me feel calm.
And then I looked up. Pure blue sky with a hint of contrail diagonally slashing across it was stunning.

There is beauty everywhere, if only we can see it. Sometimes I am absorbed by my own thoughts, my own dilemmas, problems, and busy-ness that I don't see anything but the figurative 'do list' that I carry around with me everywhere. When I meditate, I think of the people in my life who bring me joy and delight, but can easily forget to look up and around . . .  beyond the cracks and detritus of urban sidewalks to see the majesty (and even monster feet!) hiding out in plain sight. Note to self: LOOK UP! 

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